Abstract In non-cyanide technology gold is often leached by thiourea in acidic medium. Therefore, the potential techniques for recovering gold from thiourea solutions are of interest. A separation technique has been investigated in laboratory scale batch experiments, involving gold adsorption on powdered activated carbon; the latter was compared with granular carbon. Foam flotation was employed for the subsequent solid/liquid separation, using sodium oleate as surfactant. The promising results obtained were further studied by means of electrokinetic measurements. Motivation of this work was the possible application of the process in gold leach solutions, for instance, after heap leaching.