Jewelers get gold mine by collecting its dust

Jewelers get gold mine by collecting its dust

ADANA - Anatolia News Agency
Jewelers get gold mine by collecting its dust

Ali Demirkıran’s shop typically saves 1.5 kilograms worth of gold a year by collecting the dust. AA photo

Gold dust wasted in places where gold is processed – on the hands of workers or on the floor of jewelry shops – is being preserved with the use of several creative methods, allowing shops to earn tens of thousands of Turkish Liras on previously wasted gold each year.

“During the processing of one kilogram of gold, about 300 grams of gold dust is created. This is a serious rate. If we process 100 kilograms of gold, we get 30 kilograms of gold dust. If 10 percent of this dust is not utilized, we lose three kilograms of gold. In order to prevent this, our workers clean the gold dust on their hands using paint brushes,” said Adana Chamber of Trade (ATO) Jeweler Committee Chairman and gold shop owner Ali Demirkıran, adding that his shop typically saved 1.5 kilograms worth of gold by collecting the dust.

Collecting gold dust

At current prices, 1.5 kilograms of gold would net close to 150,000 liras.

Demirkıran said gold had become an important metal with the increase in its value, making it economically beneficial to adopt various measures to regain gold dust, including covering the shop’s floor with plastic and affixing sheet-iron drawers on work benches to collect gold dust.

Cleaning hands

Demirkıran’s jewelers are required to clean their hands of gold dust even when leaving their workplace for a lunch break.

Although employees brush gold dust off their hands, it still remains in their nails and hair, Demirkıran said. “When all the work is done, they wash their hands with detergent in hand-washing buckets, even when they take a break. We collect gold dust from this water once a week. There is also a special mechanism under the sink where they wash their hands, too. We also collect the gold dust there once a week, weigh it and deliver it for processing. We regain some 1.5 kilograms of gold a year thanks to these methods.”

Demirkıran said gold dust was created even when polishing gold and that they were looking for new methods to further decrease such a loss, such as a sweeper-like mechanism in the polishing machine. “When we were children, gold was not as precious as it is now. We did not take care of gold dust in the past like we do now. The polishing machines did not even have vacuums. The current mechanism in these machines vacuums the gold dust into its filter. In this way, we get 95 percent of the recycled gold. This rate has increased with developing technology. Gold has become a very important metal, and this is why recycling is very important to us and our workers are working delicately about it,” the jeweler said.