How to Refine Gold From Your Business Scraps and Make Money

Of all the minerals, gold is probably the more useful thanks to its diversity of special properties. Gold conducts electricity very well, it does not tarnish, it melts at low temperatures making it very easy to work, it can be drawn into wire, it can be hammered into thin sheets and it alloys with many other metals.Gold is used in jewellery for its wonderful colour and brilliant lustre, but it can be found also in many products that we use in our everyday life. Laptops, phones, cameras and many other devices use gold to connect components.When thinking about conductors, most people picture copper, probably because it’s the metal that is commonly used. Silver is actually the best conductor, followed by gold. Silver, however, tarnishes quickly when in contact with air. Copper is cheaper than precious metals, but it’s also much slower in transporting electrons. In the world of computing and communications, speed is more important than cost, so the use of gold has become a standard.The beneficial material properties of gold include outstanding resistance to corrosion, the ease with which it can be worked and high thermal and electrical conductivity. In conditions under which most other metals either tarnish or corrode away, gold remains inert and extremely durable.For electronic applications, the resistance of gold to environmental effects is perhaps its most important property as it assures that the technical performance of gold wires or gold electroplating remain essentially unaltered with time.In general, the more sophisticated the equipment and the greater the need for reliability, the greater is the requirement to exploit the advantages of gold as a material. This means that in telecommunications, computers, automotive electronics and defence systems where safety is critical, gold is indispensable. The importance of high quality and reliable performance justifies the high cost.

Gold’s many qualities make it the metal of choice for a wide variety of industries.Electronic partsElectronic components made with gold are highly reliable. Gold is used in connectors, switch and relay contacts, soldered joints, connecting wires and connection strips.Edge connectors used to mount microprocessor and memory chips onto the motherboard and the plug-and-socket connectors used to attach cables all contain gold. The gold in these components is generally electroplated onto other metals and alloyed with small amounts of nickel or cobalt to increase durability.In phones, most of the gold is in the SIM card, the main board and the smaller components on the back of the LCD screen.DentistryGold is being used for fillings, crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances. Gold is a bio-compatible metal, meaning it can be placed in contact with a person’s body and not cause harm to one’s health. It was much more generously used in dentistry up until the late 1970s. The sharp run-up of gold prices at that time motivated the development of substitute materials. However, the amount of gold used in dentistry is starting to rise again. Some motivation for this comes from concerns that less inert metals might have an adverse effect on long-term health.AerospaceMany parts of every space vehicle are fitted with gold-coated polyester film. This film reflects infrared radiation and helps stabilize the temperature of the spacecraft. Without this coating, dark coloured parts of the spacecraft would absorb significant amounts of heat.Gold is also used as a lubricant between mechanical parts. In the vacuum of space, organic lubricants would volatilize and they would be broken down by the intense radiation beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Gold has a very low shear strength, and a thin film of gold between critical moving parts serves as a lubricant – the gold molecules slip past one another under the forces of friction and that provides a lubricant action.The visor on the helmet of an astronaut’s space suit is coated with a very thin film of gold. This thin film reflects much of the very intense solar radiation of space, protecting the astronaut’s eyes and skin.GlassmakingGold has many uses in the production of glass. The most basic use in glassmaking is that of a pigment. A small amount of gold, if suspended in the glass when it is annealed, will produce a rich ruby colour.Gold is also used when making specialty glass for climate-controlled buildings and cases. A small amount of gold dispersed within the glass or coated onto the glass surface will reflect solar radiation outward, helping the buildings stay cool in the summer, and reflect internal heat inward, helping them stay warm in winter.How to refine gold from scrapsSo just how much precious metal do you have gathering dust, and more importantly, what’s the best way to take advantage of the possible gold mine at your fingertips?

Electronic products are one of the bigger users of gold. There’s a lot of obsolete electronics out there with TVs, computers, phones having lives of 5 years or less.The key is to remember that with the mass proliferation of electronic devices also comes the massive build-up of electronic waste. It’s e-waste that can easily end up as a huge burden on the environment if each unit is not discarded properly. At the moment, more than 80 per cent of e-waste ends up in landfills, making it a pretty serious environmental issue.In addition to this, most of the times, the gold is bound up with a lot of other hazardous chemicals so it’s always a good idea to ask a professional precious metal refiner for help.The key ingredient to maximizing the obvious potential of electronic waste is proper recycling and extraction. According to the American Environmental Protection Agency, “Experts estimate that recycling 1 million cell phones can recover about 24 kg (50 lb) of gold, 250 kg (550 lb) of silver, 9 kg (20 lb) of palladium, and more than 9,000 kg (20,000lb) of copper.”Many businesses don’t realise that they can be leveraging scrap gold to their advantage, and all they need is a specialist precious metal refiner to take care of this on their behalf, and ensure that they are getting the best possible price for their precious materials.It is important for manufacturers to be aware of procedures in their processes which may generate precious metal scrap suitable for recycling.

Workplace Safety Audit in India

Safety Audit of factories involved in hazardous processes and dangerous occurrences, has established itself in India. The entire credit goes to the 1987 amendments in the Factories Act, 1948 that we know as Chapter IVA prescribing provisions relating to hazardous processes.

It was the 1984 Bhopal disaster that took 16000 lives and crippled more than 500,000 people which prompted a serious review of existing safety enactments. Safety Audit has now become one of the spearheads to bring about a safe and healthy environment in industrial establishments.

In the years that has passed since the tragic Bhopal incident, the accident rate, the rate of dangerous occurrences and hazardous disasters have come down drastically. While the production and productivity are touching new heights with their graph always pointing upward, this achievement becomes more pronounced. The cut-throat globalization and competitiveness have changed the definition of accident from “freedom from risk or danger” to “acceptable level of risk”. But it is a complement to the statutory monitoring coupled with management’s concern that in spite of new dimensions achieved in risk taking activities; as are evident in upcoming technological achievements and, of course, in the inflating Guinness World of Records, we have not heard of any great misfortune or tragedy connected with industrial activity since 1984.

Safety audit begins with self-appraisal by an individual employee. He is encouraged to check his credentials against unsafe act committed knowingly or unknowingly. The factory carries out its internal safety audit since they are well aware that an accident or dangerous occurrence retard productivity adding to the loss whereas an accident free period has become a marked value-addition. They adhere to the golden principle of “A Penny Saved is A Penny Earned”. The society, too, has risen to an accident free environment. They have whistle blowers and Non-Government organizations armoured with the latest “Right to Information (RTI) Rules. Various statutory authorities in India are also equipped with state of the art hardware and software to monitor and identify any malpractices leading to accidents and dangerous occurrences. For instance, satellite imagery, at once, reveal where there is smoke in the sky and brown water gushing into streams and rivers.

External safety audits and internal safety audits have their own intrinsic qualities. An internal safety audit, carried out by a committee constituted from experienced experts of a factory, reveals most unhidden unsafe acts and unsafe conditions. After-all, the occupier and its employees know better than others about conditions in their factory. An external safety audit, carried out by experts constituted from other factories, academic professionals or those registered with the DGFASLI brings out a non-complacent, un-corrupted, perspective report coupled with benchmarked solutions and advice.

By far, the best kind of safety audit could only be carried out where both the in-house experts and expert guest blend together to review and improve a locus standi and modus operandi.

Under the guidance and umbrella of a periodic safety audit with religious follow-up measures, factories are inching slowly but steadily, towards a zero accident and zero pollution benchmark.

The objective of a comprehensive safety audit is to examine systematically and independently whether activities and related results conform to planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented safely and effectively to achieve the organization’s written safety and health policy. The endeavor would be to collect independent information on the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of the total health and safety management system and suggesting plans or corrective actions to improve upon. The objective is to examine each stage in the health and safety management system for measuring compliance with the controls, the organization has developed, with the ultimate aim of assessing their effectiveness and their validity for the future.

The objective is to carry our systematic critical appraisal of all the potential hazards involving man, machine and material which also embodies in itself plant services and method of operation. In general, the objective is to cover the examination and qualitative assessment of all facets of safety in every activity which includes research and development, design ad layout, occupational health and hygiene, environmental feature ad control, plant, product and process safety, employee and public safety. It involves a review of safety and health aspect in the production, technical operation, maintenance, clearance certificates, emergency procedures, job description, operating instructions, training, housekeeping, personal attitude, management-worker relationship, workers’ participation in health and safety matters etc.

The office of the Chief Advisor of Factories which is now called Director General, Factory Advice, Services and Labour Institute has brought out a comprehensive format to carry out a safety audit of a workplace/factory establishment. A specialist safety professional or team of safety experts may base their exercise on the below mentioned format. They may improvise upon to enrich it further. The safety audit report would be deemed to be complete if each an every points is reviewed and complemented with findings and expert advice for future course correction.

The Safety audit format is as under:



· Area of the site (site layout & area 10 Km radius drawing.

· Number of employees

· Products manufactured and capacity

· Meteorological data of the area


· Products made

· Process details (broad) with specific reference to hazardous steps/area

· Raw materials/intermediates with inventory

· Hazardous material used with inventory

· Storage of material- capacity, location, storage conditions and details.


· Recent safety audit report

· Hazard analysis

· Risk analysis

· On-site Plan and mock trials thereon

· Off-site plan for the area.



· Content of the Policy

· Circulation

· Promotions/awareness Build-up


· Awareness at various levels

· Willingness to learn/change

· Recognition of safety as an important function


· Organization structure – reporting relationship

· Qualification/experience of key persons

· Roles and responsibility

· Specific knowledge on auditing/hazard analysis etc.

· Accountability of line managers for safety

· Safety as a factor in performance appraisal

· Role of safety in MES



· Role of safety vis-à-vis other functions

· Procedure governing safety at works

· Training given to safety personnel/other employees


· Works Standing Instructions

· Area Instructions

· Statutory Warnings/Instructions


· Manuals (Safety/Fire/Others)


· Audit

· Statutory Compliance


· Organisation

· Roles/responsibilities

· Installation detail

· Schedule of FEA/Protection Equipment (detectors) etc.

· Fire Load Assessment

· Fire Alarm/Siren

· Fire fighting arrangement (Water, tender etc.)

· External support

· Codes and Standards.


· Work Order

· Permit to work system

· Authorities

· Monitoring/Controls


· Frequency of inspection

· Constitution f team

· Reporting of results

· Action on deficiencies

· Safety sampling


· Accidents

· Abnormal incidents/deviation

· Constitution of team

· Examination of sample report


· Safety auditing

· Inspection of safety features

· Frequency

· Agencies utilized (in-house/external)

· Action arising from audits


· Status of compliance with regulation

· Register of compliance

· Monitoring


· Hazard analysis

· On-site plan

· Vulnerable scenario development

· Off-site plan

· Mock trials

· Review

· Mutual aid scheme


· Safety communication

· Safety committee

· Warning signs/posters

· Information sharing

· Training programme (Safety/Fire/First Aid)

· Motivation



· Design documentation

· Codes and standards adopted

· Updating of documents

· Plant modifications

· Identification of vessels, pipelines etc.


· Operating procedures

· Training of personnel

· Operational safety consideration


· Maintenance procedures

· Inspection of vessels/equipment/pipelines- condition monitoring

· History cards

· Job safety analysis

· Electrical area classification

· Safety protective (Relief valves, rupture discs, trip systems etc._

· Corrosion an monitoring

· Codes and standards

· Compliance


· Area classification

· Work area toxic

· Noise

· Personal protective equipment

· Employee health monitoring



· Type of union/relationship

· Labour problems

· Communication on safety issues

· Participation in safety


· Safety training programmes

· Frequency

· Contents

· Prticipation

· Effectiveness evaluation


· Suggestion schemes

· Award/penalties

· Competition


· Review of safety

· Participants review

· Improvement plans


Visit site to assess physically the safety status including housekeeping.

A safety audit well executed, and follow-up safety measures religiously adopted would spontaneously result in achieving a healthy index of the factory. A safety index is the ratio of the safety status of the previous year and the current year. This index would be less than 1. The more a factory is concerned about the safety, occupational health of its employees and the environment upkeep, the lesser and healthier would be the safety index.