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topic 60530

Can gold be recovered practically after plating shop fire?

October 15, 2017

Q. There was a fire in a gold plating shop and the plating line was destroyed during the fire. The cause of fire was a short circuit. The plating shop was off-duty early morning but the previous night the plating shop was kept ready to operate the next shift. Entire line was destroyed as fire turned out to be a little fierce. There was a stock of gold plating powder containing 2kg of gold kept there for the processing. Is there a possibility that gold plating powder may have evaporated during the fire or would it have still remained for any salvage recovery? The temperature which might have reached during fire seemed to be around 400 °C. Can someone advise if it would be worth putting effort to salvage the same.

Sharad Shah
MOEF reg'd recycler - Bangalore,India

simultaneous October 17, 2017

A. It should be possible to recover the gold. 400 degrees C may decompose the gold salts, but the gold should still be there,

Lyle Kirman
consultant - Cleveland, Ohio

October 17, 2017

A. Hi Sharad

Cyanides are destroyed by high temperatures but the gold content should have largely survived.
I would suggest that the best course of action would be to return any surviving salts and any solution you can save to your supplier.
They should normally agree to return the material as certified salts less a charge for re-processing.
If they value your business I would expect them to be helpful in getting you back to normal as soon as possible.
The fire affected salts may be usable but that would be taking a big chance with future business.

Geoff Smith
- Hampshire UK

October 17, 2017

thumbs up sign Thank you so much. Your guidance has been really helpful for my client to regain some confidence.

Shah Sharad [returning]
- Bangalore, India

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