LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Miner and trader Glencore
will find out this month whether it will be able to
build an electronics recycling facility in the UK, which could
be operational within 18 months, adding new capacity to the
75-year old business.
Reusing scrap metal will be vital for cutting noxious
emissions and the energy transition as recycling uses
significantly less energy -- 80%-90% less for copper -- than
mining and smelting primary metal.
Around 2 million tonnes of e-waste items such as computers,
televisions and mobile phones are discarded each year in the UK,
according to a British government health and safety agency.
"The UK site is aiming to recycle end of life discarded
electronics from the UK and continental Europe," Glencore's
Head of Copper and Electronic Waste Recycling Kunal
Sinha told Reuters in an interview.
Sinha declined to say where the facility would be sited or
give any other details of the project.
"Once the permit is granted by the British government, the
facility could be up and running within 12 to 18 months."
The value of raw materials including iron, copper, gold and
other precious metals in global electronic waste
(e-waste)reached $57 billion in 2019, of which just $10 billion
was recovered, according to a 2020 United Nations report.
Glencore recovered around 27,000 tonnes of copper, 132,000
ounces of gold, 1.3 million ounces of silver, 16,000 ounces of
palladium, and 5,000 ounces of platinum from electronic scrap
It has recycled more than one million tonnes of electronic
scrap since the 1990s.
Away from Britain, Glencore is planning to rebuild an
e-scrap facility in Arkansas, which it bought in 2019.
Scrap typically accounts for about a third of the roughly 30
million tonnes of annual global copper supplies.
Glencore's copper production from own sources totalled 1.26
million tonnes last year.
(Reporting by Clara Denina, Pratima Desai and Zandi Shabalala;
Editing by Kirsten Donovan)