My Gold News | 21 February 2023

Gold Refiners

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The gold you purchase from MyGold does not look exactly like the precious metal in its raw form when initially found. Gold passes through a refining process as it is prepared for sale on the open market. Though most people are aware gold is refined, the average person does not understand what this process entails. Let's take a look at exactly what happens to gold during the refining process.

The Gold Refining Process

A number of different techniques are available for gold refining. If you were to visit gold mines throughout the world, you would find their ore processing techniques are unique yet still have some overarching similarities. Some gold mines use highly idiosyncratic techniques to create alloys made of gold as well as silver, commonly referred to as dore. In general, the gold refining process is that which extracts and removes precious metals from mined material. This extraction and separation process is performed with the mined materials, recycled products, and dore. The aim is to remove as many precious metals as possible. Refining techniques range from cupellation to the Miller process, the Wohlwill electrolytic process, fizzer cell, inquartartation and parting, the pyrometallurgical process, and beyond. Each refining technique removes base metals in its own unique way.

The Most Common Gold Refining Methods

The Wohlwill process and Miller process are the most popular gold refining methods for extracting pure gold. The Miller process makes use of gaseous chlorine to remove impurities once gold reaches its melting point. The impurities separate to create a layer along the molten gold's surface. This is a fairly straightforward and quick process. The only drawback to the Miller process is it generates gold that is a mere 99.5 percent in purity. The Wohlwill process bumps up the purity to 99.99 percent through electrolysis. This process involves the casting of impure gold in a solution comprised of electrolytes, gold chloride, and hydrochloric acid. An electric current causes gold to move to an electrode with a negative charge. Once the gold reaches this point, it is restored to reach a metallic state, leaving impurities as a residue. 


Precious Metals Refineries

Precious metals refineries are located across the globe. Though plenty of precious metals refineries exist, no two are the same. Some refineries serve local markets while others serve international markets. Gold refineries that prove their merit make it onto the Good Delivery Lists of gold. The London Bullion Market Association maintains these lists. This group identifies refineries of large gold/silver bars that meet lofty criteria for elite refining and assaying. Furthermore, refineries are only added to the list if they are financially successful. A mere 71 gold refiners have made it onto the London Bullion Market Association's Gold Good Delivery List.

Gold Refinery Referees

The world's best gold refineries are considered delivery list referees. Such refineries are members of these panels, designated to run on the London Bullion Market Association's Gold Good Delivery List. The good delivery referee panel is comprised of five members. This panel also includes five refiner groups. Elite refineries also assist with the full range of good delivery processes and criteria.

Buy or Sell Gold at MyGold

Check out our gold inventory and you will find its quality is unmatched across New Zealand. If you have any interest in buying or selling gold, contact our New Zealand gold dealers today. You can reach us by phone at 0800 465 369. You can even contact our gold buyers and sellers online by filling out our convenient online contact form. If you prefer email, send us a message at [email protected].