Mint to open site for recovering precious metals from Sydney’s e-waste

Recycling technology company Mint Innovation will open its first large-scale biorefinery in Sydney today, able to recover metals such as gold, copper and palladium from e-waste.

New Zealand’s The National Business Review reports that the factory would be the world’s first e-waste biorefinery, and will sustainably recycle used metals back into local economies. 

“Mint have proven the bio-absorption process at a demo plant in East Tamaki in recent years and the Sydney biorefinery is the first step in scaling the technology globally,” the article says, citing a capacity to handle 3,000 tonnes a year of e-waste, or Sydney’s total requirements.

The New Zealand company announced in December that it had leased a site in Smithfield, western Sydney to locate its first large-scale facility.

The company’s Australian subsidiary Mint Biomining was awarded a $4.2 million grant under the previous federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative to support the biorefinery.

According to Mint’s website, their process involves milling collected materials into a sand-like consistency, chemical and electrochemical recovery of metals, selective recovery of precious metals using a “patented biosorption process” and refining of metals into a pure form for sale.

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