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|The key element in the carbon-in-pulp process for gold processing is the loading of dissolved Au(CN)2 from solution onto activated carbon. The mechanism and kinetics of this step have been examined by solution adsorption-desorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy for both coconut derived activated carbon and peat-based activated carbon. The results show that these carbon types have the same mechanism and kinetics of adsorption. There is no contribution to the bonding from carbon-oxygen functionalities on the carbon surface, as has been invariably supposed in all previous theories for the mechanism of the reaction. It is shown that Au(CN)Z is reversibly adsorbed intact on and parallel to the graphitic planes of the carbon with the formation of a weak carbon-gold n-donor bond. The kinetic measurement of carbon gold loading reactivity is discussed and use of the Murdoch equation for this test is critically assessed.|