Separation of Gold from Liquid Media

Gold has been valued for its beauty, malleability and non-corrosive properties for millennia. Gold mining operations are improving their economics out of financial necessity and innovations in gold hydrometallurgy are emerging on a regular basis as operations trim down. DuPont has long been at the forefront of many of these new developments with the commercial use of DuPont's ion exchange resins in the primary recovery of gold in mining operations.

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Cyanidation Mining


Today, most gold is mined by the cyanide leaching or cyanidation process. Use of anion exchange resins to sorb the gold from the pregnant solution has long been common practice in the gold mines of the former Soviet Union, and its advantages are now recognized more broadly.

DuPont produces AmberSep™ 91419 Developmental Anion Resin, a gold-selective resin specifically designed for use in resin-in-pulp and pump-cell processing. For information on how to use AmberSep™ 91419 in gold mining applications, contact us.

When a highly-selective resin is not required, AmberSep™ 21K XLT Strong Base Anion Resin can be used to capture the gold since gold extracted by cyanidation is in the form of anionic aurocyanide complex (Au(CN)2-). Elution from the resin can be achieved with a more strongly adsorbed anion; zinc cyanide or thiocyanate are commonly employed.

If NaOH is the desired eluent to recover the gold from the resin matrix, then AmberLyst™ A21 Weak Base Anion Resin should be chosen.



Acid Halogen Leach


Many mining projects are underway in which ores are leached under oxidizing and acidic conditions. Under these conditions, DuPont's anion exchange resins, such as AmberSep™ 21K XLT Resin, have proven to be tough, steady performers.

Additional information about the recovery of precious metals from acidic halogen leach solutions can be found in our FAQs.


Plating Baths


DuPont anion exchange resins, such as AmberSep™ 21K XLT Resin, are commonly used in the recovery of gold from spent plating bath solutions. Generally, the loaded resin will absorb up to 60 oz of gold per cubic foot (60 g/L) and the gold is recovered by thermal decomposition (fuming).

Additional information regarding the recovery of precious metals by fuming can be found in our FAQs.


NOTICE: If DuPont products are described as “experimental” or “developmental”: (1) product specifications may not be fully determined; (2) analysis of hazards and caution in handling and use are required; (3) there is greater potential for DuPont to change specifications and/or discontinue production; and (4) although DuPont may from time to time provide samples of such products, DuPont is not obligated to supply or otherwise commercialize such products for any use or application whatsoever.