Abstract A rapid survey of the behaviour of ten extractants shows that oxine derivatives are amongst the most efficient reagents for liquid—liquid extraction of germanium (IV). A commercially available oxine derivative, Kelex 100 (HL) has been chosen. The extraction, when performed in acidic media, has acceptable kinetics ( t < 2 min for 50% extraction) and can be selective towards many metal ions (Zn 2+, Cd 2+, etc). It is also shown that the stripping can be achieved by contacting the organic phase with an aqueous solution containing a strong base e.g. sodium hydroxide. The extracted species have been identified as [GeL 2(OH) 2] and [GeL 3 + HSO 4 −] depending upon the acidity of the aqueous phase.