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  • Okeden
    replied
    Interesting Cliffy, must have a look out of interest. Yes cyanide is generally related to larger scale mining as you say, but my mining engineer mate reckons it is the way to go even for us back yarders. What I've read about it so far stacks up with what he was saying. What attracts me is the supposed one shot refining method as against multiple steps with AR.

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  • Cliffy
    replied
    There is a channel on YouTube by a guy named SREETIPS that has very long and in depth videos covering most PM recovery. He also has lots of warnings and explanations on the dangers involved as you have mentioned here. Well worth a look for those who are interested. The cyanide process sounds interesting. I have only heard of it used in larger scale mining applications rather then back yard refining. There was an episode or two of Aussie gold hunters where they set up a small heap leach system with a cyanide treatment. They used carbon filters as the collection point for the gold.

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  • Okeden
    started a topic Refining Precious Metals from E-Waste

    Refining Precious Metals from E-Waste

    G'day all. It was suggested to me that I might like to make some videos on refining PM's. I declined the invitation for a couple of reasons and thought I would let you know why.

    My main problem is I'm switching methods of refining and my lab is not currently set up, although I have plenty of chemicals. The most widely known method used by us small operators is Aqua Regia or AR. This is a solution of Nitric and Hydroclhoric Acids which "dissolves" gold into solution. You then use a reagent to "drop" the gold from the solution in the form of "brown mud". In simple terms this mud is then filtered out of the solution, dried, and then melted into a "gold button". All sounds easy, but this method has a few problems.

    First off, the acids are dangerous if misused. That's understandable. But when mixed together and added to your gold values, the solution emits an acrid brown gas. This gas can kill you. It is highly toxic and when working with it you need to be wearing a full kit of PPE. Another problem is the purity of the gold you get at the end. To increase your purity you need to wash the "brown mud" in other acids to extract other impurities. You can also take the "brown mud" and put it back into a clean AR solution and do your refining all over. So it's a long messy process. In its place I'm looking to use a cyanide based method which is a simpler one shot method. Whilst cyanide sounds dangerous, it is, but the way it is used in this process keeps it contained so that you are not exposed to it.

    So that's where I'm at with refining at the moment. I'm stockpiling my PM's until I can get set-up properly to use the new method.

    I also have a problem with the legal liability that might arise if I showed you either of these methods on video. If someone got hurt, or worse, from trying to copy what I had shown, I could classified as a teacher and be liable to some extent. It is something I would have to think about.

    Cheers
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