An Indian company which extracts gold and other precious metals from electronic waste is expanding to the US, according to media reports.
Attero, a company based in Noida just outside New Delhi, has patented a technology which helps remove precious metals such as gold, silver and palladium from electronic waste, such as disused circuit boards (e-waste).
The company collects one million pounds in weight of mobile phones and computers per month in India and resells the precious metals it extracts back to the electronics industry.
According to Forbes, Attero has won the backing of US investors such as the International Finance Corporation and Draper Fisher Jurvetson to help it expand into the US.
Attero’s move into this market would be the first time the country has its own facilities for extracting precious metals from components such as circuit boards. Currently most US circuit boards are recycled in Europe, Asia and Canada.
Attero’s patented process enables it to remove more than 10 precious metals found in used electronics. It claims it can do this without releasing hazardous chemicals back into the environment.
The company said its “urban mining centres” cost only $2m to build and require only a 100,000 sq ft warehouse. European plants, by contrast, cost hundreds of millions of dollars and cover several acres.