Britain's official coin-maker will embrace new technology to recover gold from phones as part of a green push.
The Royal Mint has signed an agreement with a Canadian startup to extract the precious metal from discarded devices including phone, television and laptop circuit boards as part of an effort to cut down on waste.
The United Nations estimates about $57bn worth of raw materials is thrown away annually as part of electronic waste , with iron, copper and gold the biggest parts. Only about a fifth ends up being recycled.
The Mint, which is owned by the Treasury and has sole responsibility to supply the UK's coins, will employ technology made by Calgary-based Excir at its South Wales site near Llantrisant.
It said initial use of the technology had produced gold with a purity of 999.9 , and that further metals including palladium, silver and copper could be recovered once the process is scaled up.
Anne Jessopp, the Mint's chief executive, said the technology could help make a "genuine impact" on one of the world's greatest environmental challenges".
She said: "This partnership represents a significant milestone for The Royal Mint as we reinvent for the future as the home of precious metals in the UK.
"The potential of this technology is huge – reducing the impact of electronic waste, preserving precious commodities, and forging new skills which help drive a circular economy."
The move is part of the Mint's ambitions to become a leader in sustainable precious metals.
Jim Fox, chief executive of Excir, said his company felt "extremely fortunate" to be working alongside the Mint. The business previously appeared on Canada's version of Dragon's Den .
The Royal Mint is Britain's oldest company , having been in operation for more than 1,100 years. It operates three main businesses, producing currency, collector and rare coins, and investing in precious metals.
It made a loss of £0.2m on revenues of £568.5m in the 2019–20 financial year, according to its latest financial report. The Mint issued 588m coins to UK cash centres over the period.
Ms Jessopp warned earlier this year that coin use could drop by a fifth in the wake of the pandemic, with more people shifting to digital payments. The drop presents a challenge for the Mint.
Statistics from UK finance show usage of cash fell 35pc during 2020, making up less than a fifth of all transactions, with many places rejecting physical payments entirely as a safety precaution.
Meanwhile, the price of gold surged during the pandemic and is still high by recent standards, with the yellow metal still a popular hedge during times of economic uncertainty and market volatility due to the perceived stability of its value.
- Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile: which carrier is best for you?
- Pegasus Spyware: French President Emmanuel Macron Changes Phone, Phone Number
- Mint Mobile vs AT&T: which carrier is best for you?
- Ultra Mobile's Summer Sale can score you a six month 3GB plan for just $11 per month
- Six Things You Should Know About Season 4 of Call of Duty Mobile Spurned & Burned
- Are Olympic medals solid gold?
- Roaming charges Europe: Which mobile companies have scrapped post Brexit roaming fees?
- Why can't all phones last this long? The Moto Z2 Play is a battery behemoth
- Best Cheap Cell Phone Plan Deals for July 2021 | Digital Trends
- Metro by T-Mobile takes a shot at Dish with free 5G phone offer, $25 unlimited data
- T-Mobile is finally showing you where to find its elusive, ultra-fast 5G
- Exclusive: Rekindled Yet Again, Nokia’s Next-gen Phones Offer More Than Just Nostalgia | Digital Trends
- Do you really need a new phone? Why the global chip shortage should make you think twice
- Tokyo 2020 Awards First Gold Made From Recycled Electronics | Digital Trends
- Martin Lewis confirms '10 main mobile networks' will not charge holidaymakers in the EU
- How To Recharge Mobile Through Amazon App Through UPI
- 'People think you can't be blind and use a phone'
- Royal Family news – Queen ‘plots ultimate INSULT to Meghan & Harry by starving them of attention they desperately crave’
- When does Apex Legends Mobile release on Android?
- Satellite, fixed wireless, fibre and mobile broadband: Australia's internet technologies compared for you
Royal Mint plans to extract gold from mobile phones have 696 words, post on www.telegraph.co.uk at October 20, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.