This research work demonstrates the use of fractional factorial experimental design technique for the novel synthesis of ordered mesoporous silica SBA-15 from the tailings slurry of a gold mine treatment plant. A two-level factorial design was employed to investigate the influence of five factors (weight ratio of NaOH/slurry, leaching time, stirring time, synthesis temperature, and synthesis time) on specific surface area (SBET). The experimental design results show that only the weight ratio of NaoH/slurry influenced Sul. significantly and the obtained model predicts the SBET as a function of the weight ratio of NaOH/slurry. The experimental values were in reasonable agreement with the predicted values. It was revealed that fractional factorial design is a suitable tool for investigating the effects of large number factors simultaneously, thus reducing the number of experiments required. (C) 2014 Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.