Author Options:

How do I separate gold from surrounding ores Answered

I live near the site John Marshall discovered gold in 1848.  There is gold dust and particles everywhere!  Problem is that the gold is dust or fine powder form and the gold strongly adheres to it's surrounding ores.  Panning is tedious and not effective.  How can I separate the gold dust/powder from the other minerals?  I have heard using Auger Regis is effective, but cannot find anything on how to use it, purchase it, or make it myself.  Any suggestions/instructions on making or using auger regis; or any other more effective method of extracting the gold from the other minerals is greatly appreciated.


Agonsi Precious

6 years ago

Its actually a very careful and skill requiring process. To know more about this, http://unn.edu.ng/department/geography can be of reasonable help.


7 years ago

Firstly, do do at least some panning to concentrate the amount of gold in your ore, otherwise you'll be processing tonnes for just a few grammes of gold. This panning is not nearly as difficult and time consuming, just try to get rid of the lightest 95% of the rock.

Another way of dissolving gold is in chlorine water.

WARNING: Chlorine gas is extremely toxic. Do not handle this gas if you are not an experienced chemist. Use only laboratory-grade glassware, since chlorine water will dissolve any metal container.

Chlorine can be prepared by reacting bleach (sodium hypochlorite) with hydrochloric acid. This is bubbled through water to produce chlorine water. This dissolves gold slowly, but since you're using fine grains it shouldn't take too long.

I'm guessing The gold can then be extracted from solution by electrolysis using carbon electrodes (This will also produce some chlorine gas).

I have no evidence that this works, but the chemistry makes sense. Having mentioned the dangers of chlorine, I should say that I get that chemistry from a 19th Century book of chemistry experiments for children. Seriously.

Stay safe and don't expect to make your fortune at this.


Reply 7 years ago

"I have no evidence that this works"

-Where did you get this idea from then?



Reply 7 years ago

By that I meant that I have never tried it myself, but not only do I understand the chemistry behind it, but the book I mentioned describes dissolving gold leaf in chlorine water. In theory then, it should work for all gold.


Reply 7 years ago

I don't know where SOF got his information from, but I've heard of the process. Here's a link if you're interested in reading it. ;-)

Personally, I think many of these processes (especially using Mercury) has too many health and environmental risks to make them viable (but unfortunately, many use them).


Reply 7 years ago

It's not economically-viable at either end of the scale, but for academic interest I would use a viable industrial extraction (rather than a bit of academic-research).



7 years ago

I believe I will move in as your neighbor.


7 years ago

moved to forums > burning questions


7 years ago

Didnt use the old goldminers mercury to catch the gold out of a mix?

Gold will adhere to mercury.
As you have gathered enough, you can cook it: It is destilling, but be VERY sure your output of the still UNDER WATER in a barrel.
If the mercury-vapor is not cooled and condensed back to liquid mercury, it is highly poisonous!

- Get yourself a few hundred dollars worth of mercury (5-7kg)
- Conzentrate the gold in your dust by means of gravitational sorting (using a vibration-table as an example)
- then adding mercury and mix well.
- Get the gold-mercury-mix out.
- Destill the mercury-gold-mix
- Collect the mercury from the barrel
- collect the gold left withing the still.

And if you SEE the mercury and there is an open Air-connection from the mercury to you, it WILL slowly poison you. So be sure, you
1.: Always wear a good gas-mask capacle of filtering mercury-vapour
2.: Using a underwater-exit for the still


7 years ago

You mean aqua regia. This is a hideously corrosive acid mixture, and poor handling practices have been known to cause explosions.

A wide spray of acid that can eat through gold is not a fun event.

Add to that the fact that it must be prepared fresh for every use, since it starts to decompose within seconds of preparation, and the decomposition also produces toxic gases, and you have a substance that no no sane chemist would make for home use.

Panning may be slower, but at least it won't blow up, strip the flesh off your bones and poison anything left breathing.