The goal of this study was to assess the sustainability of a modified cellulose nanofiber material for the recovery of precious gold from chloride solution, with a special focus on gold recovery from acidic solutions generated by cupric and ferric chloride leaching processes. TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofiber in hydrogel (TOCN), dry (H-TOCN, F-TOCN) and sheet form (S-TOCN) was examined for gold adsorptivity from chloride solution. Additionally, this work describes the optimum conditions and parameters for gold recovery. The data obtained in this investigation are also modeled using kinetic (pseudo first-order and pseudo second-order), isotherm best fit (Freundlich, Langmuir and Langmuir-Freundlich), and thermodynamic (endothermic process) parameters. Results demonstrate that high levels of gold removal can be achieved with TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibers (98% by H-TOCNF) and the interaction characteristics of H-TOCN with gold suggests that other precious metals could also be efficiently recovered.