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Electronic waste revamped - the Britain’s Royal Mint turns garbage into gold


Britain’s Royal Mint said it had found a way of reclaiming hundreds of kilograms of gold and other precious metals from electronic waste such as mobile phones and laptops.

Gold and silver are highly conductive and small quantities are embedded in circuit boards and other hardware, along with other precious metals.

Most of this material is never recovered, with discarded electronics often dumped in landfills or incinerated.

The more than 1,100-year-old mint said it had partnered with a Canadian start-up called Excir which has developed chemical solutions to extract the metals from the circuit boards.

It plans to build a plant in Wales to process hundreds of tonnes of e-waste and extract hundreds of kilograms of precious metals.

Sean Millard, the mint’s chief growth officer, said that disused electronics in households represent about seven per cent of the world’s gold.

On Monday (March 21) Gold prices rose as fighting in Ukraine boosted demand for safe-haven bullion. Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,931.16 per ounce by 1:51 p.m. ET (1751 GMT). U.S. gold futures for April settled mostly unchanged at $1,929.50.

Published : March 22, 2022

By : Reuters