What Is the Definition of "cyanaurate"?


Quick Answer

Cyanaurate, also called aurocyanide, is a chemical reaction that creates a complex anion when the cyanide process is used to dissolve gold. It can also be formed from other metals and radicals.

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Full Answer

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, the cyanide process to create a cyanaurate involves using sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide in a dilution to separate silver and gold from raw ore. This three-step process includes adding finely ground ore to a cyanide solution, sorting the solids from the clear solution, and then collecting the gold and silver using precipitation of zinc dust. This process was developed in 1887 by John S. MacArthur, Robert W. Forrest and William Forrest, giving it its alternate name, the MacAuthur-Forrest process.

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