Where Did All The Precious Metals Go?
It is already known that much precious metal content is lost to cellphones, laptop computers, PCs, and other electronic goods, and that that total is rising. Very little of it is recovered. In fact, the United Nations University and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative reckons that 320 tons of gold, worth $16 billion and 7,500 tons of silver, worth $5 billion are used annually in electronic products. Only about 10-15 percent thereof is recovered, while the rest is unfound or wasted in crude recovery methods. According to GSI report, electronic waste has 40-60 times more gold than ore. There are approximately 200 grams (7 ounces) of gold in a ton of circuit boards and 300 grams (10.5 ounces) in a ton of cellphones, compared with 5 grams (0.17 ounces) in a ton of ore.