Turn garbage into gold: UK's Royal Mint planning to extract precious metals from e-waste

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Mar 23, 2022, 03:03 PM(IST)

Royal Mint said it had partnered with a Canadian start-up that has developed chemical solutions to extract the metals from the circuit boards.  Photograph:( Others )

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

Royal Mint in the United Kingdom will start recovering hundreds of kilograms of gold and other precious metals from electronic waste and will use in its coins and bars. 

Royal Mint is hopeful that its new plant in Llantrisant, South Wales, will start reclaiming the precious metal from the circuit boards of laptops and mobile phones next year. 

For the unversed, gold, silver and other precious metals are embedded in circuit boards and other hardware. Such metals are highly conductive in small quantities. 

These metals are never recovered as people usually throw away their discarded electronics in the landfills or incinerated. 
 
Royal Mint, which is more than 1,100-year-old, said it had partnered with a Canadian start-up called Excir which has developed chemical solutions to extract the metals from the circuit boards. 

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

As quoted by news agency Reuters, Millard said, "If you take all of the disused electronics around your home, that represents about seven per cent of the world's gold. That is a huge number and really gives us the initiative and imperative to start recycling those electronics." 

Sky News reported that currently 99 per cent of the country's circuit boards are shipped overseas to be processed at high temperatures in smelters, as per the company estimates. 

As quoted by the media outlet, Millard said, "As the volume of electronic waste increases each year, this problem is only set to become bigger." 

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(With inputs from agencies)

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