Why Burning Scrap Materials Reclaims the Precious Metals They Contain

Why Burning Scrap Materials Reclaims the Precious Metals They Contain

You could try to perform those operations yourself by burning old electronic components or other metal-bearing materials at home or – preferably – in an outdoor setting where poisonous fumes are released into the air. But we cannot state strongly enough that by doing so, you can poison yourself and release noxious gases into the atmosphere. 

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Crud - Why the Ugliest Stuff You Find in Old Businesses Can Be Worth Big Dollars

Crud - Why the Ugliest Stuff You Find in Old Businesses Can Be Worth Big Dollars

Have you stopped to think how rare discoveries like those are, and how much more likely it is that you will discover quantities of precious metals in powders, shavings, sludge and other stuff that doesn’t look valuable? In other words, the crud that you will find lying around in old businesses and factories? If you don’t know where money can be found in crud, we will tell you in today’s post.

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Complicated Precious Metal Recycling Problems Made Easy

Complicated Precious Metal Recycling Problems Made Easy

Recycling precious metals often involves analyzing and refining big messy batches of mixed materials. People who own these mixed lots of material know that gold or silver or platinum is “in there” somewhere, but don’t know where it is, what it is, or how much of it is present. 

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Unexpected Places where Precious Metals Can Be Hiding

Sometimes it is easy to see precious metals when you come across them. You see some bright, shiny gold dust in the sand at the bottom of a stream for example, or open a dresser drawer and find your late aunt’s silver dinnerware there. Or maybe you open a box in an old jewelry factory and it is full of shiny silver wires that were once used to manufacture rings and chains.

But many precious metals are not so visible to the naked eye. Some of them seem to be “hiding in plain sight,” or just plain hiding.

Shown: Used silver recovery columns sent to Specialty Metals for the profitable extraction and recycling of the electrolytic silver flake residue they still contain.

Shown: Used silver recovery columns sent to Specialty Metals for the profitable extraction and recycling of the electrolytic silver flake residue they still contain.

Here is a checklist of some of the hard-to-see and hard-to-remember locations where precious metals can be hiding . . .

Inside Pipes

Pipes that are used to move electrolytic fluids to or from plating tanks can have valuable deposits of precious metals inside, where you can’t see them. Depending on what those plating tanks have been used for – for gold plating, for example – those deposits can be well worth recycling.

In Worthless-Looking Used Industrial Mesh

When mesh made of palladium and other precious metals has outlived its life on the production line, it looks worthless – like discolored powder. But the fact is that even worthless-looking quantities of used mesh often contain quantities of precious metals that are valuable.

In Chemicals

If you looked at chemicals that are used in photo processing, for example, you would never know that they contain quantities of silver that can be profitably recycled. You can’t see the silver, but it is certainly there.

In Industrial Waste and Sludge

Shown: mining concentrates that could contain  silver, gold, platinum and other precious metals which could be extracted, processed and recycled by Specialty Metals.

Shown: mining concentrates that could contain  silver, gold, platinum and other precious metals which could be extracted, processed and recycled by Specialty Metals.

How could something with an unglamorous name like “sludge” be worth much of anything? But it can, if it has accumulated as a result of gold or silver-plating operations. If you send in a small sample of sludge to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, we can quickly tell you whether it contains gold, silver, or another precious metal that can be recycled.

In Unprocessed Deposits of Mine Ore and Sand

If you have visited an old gold, silver, copper or coal mine that is no longer in use, chances are that you have seen quantities of unprocessed mine waste. If it’s lying there unprocessed it must be worthless, right? Well not necessarily. Take copper mining. Anode slimes that result from copper mining often contains small amounts of gold, silver, platinum or other metals that can be recycled, even if those metals were not the primary product that the mine was extracting from the earth.

We’re Experts at the Unexpected

After 32 years of turning scrap into gold, we’ve seen it all from our customers across a wide variety of industries and manufacturing sectors. Send us a sample and let us tell you’ve got profitable precious metals hiding where you least expect it. Click here to start the process.

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Can You Extract Gold from Black Sand?
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Why It Pays to Have Mining Ores Analyzed for Precious Metals

Can You Extract Gold from Black Sand?

If you live in an area with large deposits of black-colored sand, are you sitting on tons of gold that you can refine? Or if you work for a mining company that pulverizes minerals and ends up with quantities of black sand, it is likely to contain quantities of gold that are worth extracting?

Image of black sand containing gold that can be extracted, smelted and refined by Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners.

Lots of myths and misunderstandings surround the question of black sand, as you will discover if you search for the term on Google. But before you assume that your black sand is worth its weight in gold – or even a tiny percentage of that – here are some questions to answer.

What Is the Source?

Black sand can be sitting on a beach. It can be found in “placer deposits” of other minerals that occur naturally in streams, river beds or as veins in rock faces. It can be a byproduct of mines that extract primarily copper, zinc, or another metal from the earth.

So, what is in your black sand and does it contain gold? There is no way to be sure without sending a sample to a qualified gold refinery.

If Gold Is There, Can It Be Profitably Be Extracted?

The answer is, it depends on the kind of black sand that you have – if it does contain gold. If gold is present in small nuggets or flakes that are not physically bound to minerals, they can sometimes be separated by sifting or using a device called a shaker table or other specialized machinery. Do you remember the Gold Rush prospectors who panned for gold in streams? They were engaging in just this process.

If gold is physically bound to minerals, it can sometimes be separated by the application of heat in a smelting operation. At other times, the only way to separate the gold is to immerse quantities of black sand in chemical baths – a process called wet chemical extraction. The more complex the separation process, the higher the cost becomes of extracting each troy ounce of gold.

Is It Worth Extracting Gold from Your Black Sand?

Again, the answer is, it depends. If only a tiny amount of gold exists in a large quantity of black sand, the cost of extracting it can be much higher than the value of the gold itself. If there is a lot of gold that can be extracted using sifting or other relatively inexpensive processes, that could be an option worth considering.

The bottom line? If you’re sitting on a quantity of black sand of any kind, start out by sending a sample to a qualified testing service. Consider calling Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

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