BlueOak Resources, a Burlingame, California-based startup, plans to mine for and refine gold, silver, copper, and other precious metals in the US. But before you call your local chapter of the Natural Resources Defense Council to organize a protest in anticipation of environmental calamity, consider the source from which the company plans to “mine” such valuable materials: our old electronics gadgets.
According to BlueOak’s cofounders Priv Bradoo and Bryce Goodman, instead of partaking in such environmentally destructive, dangerous, and carbon-intensive activities as strip-mining, open-pit mining, and mountaintop removal and extraction to bring the precious metals and rare earth elements necessary to power our electronics gadgets to market, the company instead aims to focus on “above the ground recovery.”
“BlueOak’s goal is to provide a distributed and domestic solution for e-waste recycling. We aim to enable circular integration in the technology supply chain, converting the e-waste of today into a sustainable source of metals and rare earths for the technologies of tomorrow,” according to the company’s website.
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