Creative Links: Urban Gold Rush - Recovering Precious Metals from Electronic Waste (Bite-Size Film)

Creative Links: Urban Gold Rush – Recovering Precious Metals from Electronic Waste

Want to watch the full length talk?

If you would like to watch the entire, 48-minute talk click below. You just need to log in as a member or sign up for a free membership at goldsmiths-centre.org/become-a-member

As part of the Creative Links series, Sandra Wilson from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, part of the University of Dundee, presented her recent research on recovering precious metals from electronic waste.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) such as mobile phones and computer circuit boards is the fastest growing waste stream in the EU and by 2020 it is expected to reach 12 million tons a year. In 2012 it was estimated that only 10-15% of the gold in e-waste is actually being recovered. Interestingly it takes around 1 ton of rock to generate 30grams of gold and yet 1 ton of WEEE can generate 300grams of gold! 

Working as an artist in residence with the Love Chemistry Laboratory at Edinburgh University where they have developed a greener method of metal recovery - Sandra has been using a hydro-metallurgy ligund that specifically targets gold. This molecular gold panning will be significant in what is likely to be an urban gold rush!

The Goldsmiths’ Centre would like to thank the panellists: 

  • Sandra Wilson, contemporary jewellery, silversmith and researcher at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
  • Nowa, short for ‘no waste’, a company specialising in jewellery made from recycled mobile phones 

This video is part of the Creative Links talks series and took place in April 2019 at the Goldsmiths’ Centre.

Who is the speaker?

Sandra Wilson, Ph.D. is a jeweller, silversmith and researcher at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design part of the University of Dundee. Her jewellery has won awards from the Audi Foundation, the British European Designers Group and the Scottish Arts Council. Her research has also attracted funding from various UK research councils.