A highly sensitive, selective and low cost solid phase extraction (SPE) procedure was developed for separation and enrichment of Au(III) ions in environmental samples prior to its flame atomic absorption spectrometric detection. Au(III)-2-pyridin-5-(4-tolyl)-1,3,4-oxadiazole (PYTOX) complex was adsorbed quantitatively on Amberlite XAD-4 resin in 0.5 mol L-1 HNO3 condition and the elution was carried out with 7.5 mL of 1.0 mol L-1 HCl in acetone. Some analytical parameters, affect the recoveries of Au(III) ions, such as HNO3 concentration of sample solution, amount of PYTOX, type, concentration and volume of eluent, sample volume and concomitants were examined. Adopting optimized experimental conditions, the limit of detection for Au(III) ions was 1.03 mu g L-1 with preconcentration factor of 50 and a relative standard deviation (RSD) of 3.7%. The determination of Au(III) ions in anodic slime, gold ore, soil and sea and stream waters was performed after checking the accuracy of the method by addition-recovery tests.