Gold is a critical part of the world’s infrastructure – influencing the global economy, allowing for technological innovations, and creating timeless artwork. Unfortunately, gold is a non-renewable resource that is labor intensive to produce. But on the bright side, the burden of gold production is lessened by recycling efforts that contribute to the world’s gold supply.
For example, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the United States produced 211 tons of gold in 2014, with a reported consumption of 165 tons. During that year, 200 tons of gold scrap was recycled – 17.5% more than the reported gold consumption. Most of this recycled gold comes from facilities that process electronic waste such as computers, televisions, smartphones, etc.
Electronic recycling is an important service for the gold market and the environment, but it’s a very tough business to succeed in. For one, the extraction process is difficult, time consuming, and requires dangerous chemicals. Additionally, the yield is very small. One ton of printed circuit boards contains approximately 10 ounces of gold, so e-scrap refineries are dependent on high volumes.
Currently, our refinery is not certified to remove gold from electronics. Our focus is on recycling the gold, silver, platinum, and palladium scraps that are byproducts of jewelry making, manufacturing, and other sources. But if you’ve ever been to our storefront after the 10am London Fix, you know that we refine at a high volume too! For more than 30 years, the mission of our refinery has been to help local businesses by making gold recycling as easy as possible. To celebrate gold recyclers everywhere, check out the infographic below for some interesting statistics from the industry.