Metal ores found in the Earth are a non-renewable resource. Once we have discovered and extracted every ounce of metal from our planet, the resource is depleted. From this perspective, mining has an ultimate end-date. For a world with an ever-increasing demand for products containing metal, this may seem like a disaster. However, recent developments have brought effective ways to recover high demand metals from urban sources. Instead of looking to quarries and mines for our metal needs, we’ll be looking inwards to our cities. Urban mining is becoming essential to satiating our needs for technology.
Urban mining is the process of recovering compounds and elements from used products, buildings, or e-waste. Even though metals like gold, silver, tin, etc. are non-renewable, they are highly recyclable. Sepro Urban Mining can recover precious and industrial metals from e-waste sources to lessen our dependence on their raw ore counterparts.
Rising Demand For Electronic Goods
We are experiencing a substantial increase in the global middle-class population from previously lower-income citizens. This rise gives discretionary income to more people who are contributing to the increased consumption of electronic goods. Sales of mobile phones, automobiles, television, computers and other electronics have been growing in recent years and will continue to do so. Eventually, traditional mining methods will be able to match the demand for the production of these goods, making urban mining a necessity.
Electronic products contain an array of metals. Take your computer for instance. The metals in your standard computer include aluminum, aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, palladium, platinum, selenium, silver, and zinc.
After your computer becomes obsolete, or you decide to purchase a new one, urban mining will be the key to recovering the valuable metals inside for use in other electric goods.
E-Waste To Be Recovered
In Canada, over 14.5 million phones are discarded each year. Up to 14,000 kg of copper and 350 kg of silver and 34 kg of gold can be recovered per 1 million devices recycled. Historically these devices along with other electronics would find there way into a landfill. Recovering the metals and minerals inside was too expensive and not worth the effort. With developments in e-waste mining, Sepro Urban Mining can recover almost every metal and resource in discarded phones and other electronics in a reusable way.
Globally there are millions of devices and appliances just waiting to be recovered.
Increasing cost of raw resource extraction
Reserves of untouched raw resources are being exhausted. Even as technologies develop enabling us to extract valuable resources from difficult mining operations, the price of these projects can be hefty. Years ago, it wouldn’t be worth the investment to recycle e-waste when the raw resources were so abundant. Now that the raw resources are becoming scarce and technologies have developed for cost-effective e-waste recovery, we are witnessing an industry shift.
Sepro Urban Mining is a leader in urban waste recovery with services in incinerator bottom ash, e-waste metal recovery, lead glass treatment and custom mining solutions. If you’re looking for an urban e-waste solution, contact your urban mining experts.