The royal mint will turn electronic waste into gold

The Royal Mint will begin recovering gold from electronic waste for use in its coins and bars.

It hopes its new plant at Lentricant in South Wales will begin recovering precious metals from the circuit boards of laptops and mobile phones next year.

Royal Mint expects to process up to 90 tonnes of UK-source circuit boards per week, recovering hundreds of kilograms of gold each year for reuse in its coins, bars and other products.

Currently 99% of circuit boards in the UK are currently shipped abroad for processing at fragrant high temperatures, the company estimates.

Shawn Millard of The Royal Mint said, “The problem is getting bigger as the amount of electronic waste increases every year.”

According to the Waste Research Group Material Focus, the British dump 300,000 tons of electrical material each year and 95 tons of precious metals such as silver and palladium can be recycled from unwanted products.

The United Nations estimates that less than 20% of e-waste is recycled worldwide each year.

The plant is just a plan by various waste companies in the UK to recover metals from electrical.

Recovering waste internally, instead of exporting it, using a process at room temperature instead of melting the temperature and reducing the need for new metal mining, they hope to reduce the environmental damage to the metals they use.

Scott Butler, executive director of Material Focus, said there was a “huge potential” for electrical recycling.

“Our research indicates that if all the unwanted electrical items we store or dispose of each year in the UK are recycled, we will have enough gold to make 858,000 rings,” he said.

Royal Mint hopes to eventually recover silver, along with non-precious metals such as copper, tin, steel and aluminum.

The postcode locator of Material Focus allows the customer to identify their nearest electrical recycling point.


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