The Pros And Cons Of Gold Mining

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Old Phones are the new Gold Mines
With new chemical methods, more precious gold can now be selectively extracted from old electronics. The study was recently published on Angewandte Chemie journal by German Chemical Society. Figure 1: A substantial amount of gold obtained from recycling old phones and other electonics [Credit: http://nokiarevolution.com]

With rapid revolutions in technology in this digital age, people are quick to change their phones to the latest handsets. But few people realise that recycling their old phones is imperative, and the shocking potential benefits it may bring. A recent study has found a surprising new way to extract the maximum amount of gold from old Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)---using
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Gold can be found in a myriad of products, aside from being a jewellery or as a type of investment, gold is used as a component of many electronics, chemicals and medicine. Gold is rarely found in natural ore form, a reason which makes it so valuable. Ores are rocks obtained from mining and later refined to extract the gold within.
The mining and refining processes to retrieve gold brings about grave issues. The biggest consequence of gold mining is the environmental blow it causes. Mining leads to the release of thousands of tonnes of CO2, a greenhouse gas capable of resulting in global warming. In addition, gold mining may cause erosion, contamination of water sources, land pollution and health problems. Governments worldwide are actively encouraging the recycling of electronic waste (e-waste) to obtain reusable components.
“There's gold in waste - literally. It takes a ton of ore to get 1g of gold. But you can get the same amount from recycling the materials in 41 mobile phones.”, stated Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for the Environment. The gold content of WEEE are relatively high compared to the gold content that can be found in
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