1660263908446 Ewaste

Royal Mint Plans Facility To Extract Gold From E-Waste

April 6, 2022
Pioneering new technology enables The Royal Mint to recover precious metals from discarded electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops.

The Royal Mint to build "world first" plant to turn U.K.’s electronic waste into gold.

The Royal Mint announces plans to build a “world first” plant in South Wales to recover gold from U.K. electronic waste. The facility will help address a growing environmental issue, support jobs and skills in Britain and create a new source of high quality precious metals for the business, according to the organization.

The Royal Mint says it is using patented new chemistry - created by Canadian based Excir - to recover gold within the circuit boards of laptops and mobile phones. The unique chemistry is capable of recovering over 99% of the precious metals contained within electronic waste – selectively targeting the metal in seconds, according to The Royal Mint.

Construction of the plant begins this month and it will be located within The Royal Mint’s highly secure site to provide a stream of gold directly into the business. When fully operational in 2023, The Royal Mint says it expects to process up to 90 tons of U.K.-sourced circuit boards per week – generating hundreds of kilograms of gold per year. In addition, the new business venture reportedly will support around 40 jobs, helping existing employees to reskill as well as recruiting new chemists and engineers.

Each year, more than 50 million ton of electronic waste is produced globally, with less than 20% currently being recycled, according to the organization. If nothing is done, this is set to reach 74 million tons by 2030.

Instead of electronic waste leaving U.K. shores to be processed at high temperatures in smelters, the approach will see precious metals recovered at room temperature at The Royal Mint’s plant in South Wales. Embracing the principles of a circular economy, the plant will be able to process the entire circuit board - preserving natural resources for longer, helping to reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste and fostering new skills and employment in the U.K., according to the organization.  

Anne Jessopp, chief executive of The Royal Mint, says, “We are transforming our business for the future - expanding into areas which complement our expertise in precious metals, champion sustainability and support employment. Our investment in a new plant will see The Royal Mint become a leader in sustainably sourced precious metals and provide the UK with a much-needed domestic solution to the growing problem of electronic waste.”

For more information, visit www.royalmint.com

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