Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Smelly Gold in Smelly Hills

Classify this one as 'Recycle'. Landfills are starting to look like mighty appetizing hunting grounds for metals, particularly copper and gold. Why? Well, eWaste is just full of these riches; according to the article, one ton of scrap from discarded PCs contains more gold than can be produced from 17 tons of gold ore. Although landfill mining been tried for years (mostly without success) the big driver will be the energy costs to process virgin ore. Simply put, as the costs rise to crack open boulders, the cost to sift through household waste become more attractive.

Is this necessary? Well, with Peak Copper right around the corner, it seems like the world will need every wire we can muster. Might be a good idea though, to keep the PC's out of the landfill in the first place and store them in a warehouse for processing later. With about 70 percent of all heavy metals coming from eWaste, the PC's are the gold nuggets.

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