A new methodology was developed for the determination of ultratrace levels of gold in water samples, soils and river sediments. Dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction was used to preconcentrate the ion pair formed between AuCl(4)(-) and [CH(3)(CH(2))(3)](4)N(+) in a microliter-range volume of chlorobenzene using acetone as disperser solvent. When solid samples were analyzed, the method consisted of a combination of ultrasound-assisted extraction and dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction with final detection by electrothermal-atomic absorption spectrometry. Since an HCl medium was required for the formation of the AuCl(4)(-) complex, HCl together with HNO(3) was used as extractants for ultrasound-assisted extraction. After optimization, the enrichment factor obtained was 220 for water samples. Moreover, the extraction efficiency was around 96%. The repeatability, expressed as relative standard deviation ranged from 3.6% to 9.7%. The instrumental detection limit was 8.4 ng L(-1), whereas the procedural detection limits were 42 ng L(-1) for water samples and 1.5 ng g(-1) for environmental solid samples.