The Royal Mint is to use technology from Canadian clean tech start up Excir to extract gold and other precisous metals from discarded laptops and mobile phones.
Excir’s patented technology recovers 99%+ of gold from electronic waste, contained within the circuit boards of old consumer electronic products.
Scientists and engineers at The Royal Mint are now working to grow the technology from laboratory scale to mass production. Instead of electronic waste leaving UK shores to be processed at high temperatures in smelters, the approach will see precious metals recovered at room temperature at The Royal Mint’s site in South Wales.
Initial use of the technology has already produced gold with a purity of 999.9, and when fully scaled up, the process has potential to also recover palladium, silver and copper.
Anne Jessopp, chief executive, The Royal Mint, says: “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.”