We all know that gold is precious – it makes expensive jewellery and valuable medals – but did you know that gold is a vital component of your mobile phone?
Gold is used in the circuit boards of mobile phones and other electronic devices because it is chemically stable and conducts electricity.
So how much gold are you carrying around in your phone? The average iPhone contains approximately 0.034g of gold.
While this is only a tiny amount of gold, it’s not insignificant. There are an estimated seven billion mobile phones in use around the world, and millions more that are no longer being used, so that adds up to a lot of gold!
In fact, the concentration of gold in mobile phones is higher than the concentration of gold in the same quantity of ore.
One tonne of iPhones has 300 times more gold than one tonne of gold ore!
This means it is more efficient, worthwhile and better for the environment to mine gold from unwanted mobile phones than it is to mine gold from the earth.
Extracting gold and other valuable materials from your mobile phone is known as urban mining. In order for phones to be mined, it is vital that people recycle their mobile phones when they are no longer using them. This allows unwanted phones to be broken down into parts, with each of the elements being extracted for reuse. Over 95% of your mobile phone can be recycled.
So the next time you get a new phone, remember there’s gold in your old one. Don’t let that gold go to waste by just sitting around inside your drawer, or worse yet, throwing it into the rubbish bin where that gold will never be able to recovered. Recycle your mobile phone.