Thiourea leaching of precious metals such as gold and silver from ores has several advantages when compared with conventional cyanidation process. In recent years, the use of ultrasound in leaching processes is becoming increasingly popular in hydrometallurgy. This paper deals with combining these two techniques for silver leaching from solid waste of a cyanidation leach plant located in Kutahya, Turkey. The primary aim of this research is to assess the technical performance of the method. To achieve maximum leaching yield, eight process variables have been selected to estimate optimum process conditions by means of statistical factorial design and steepest ascent techniques. Laboratory-scale experiments showed that complete leaching of silver may be achieved by this process. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.