Gold and Silver Worth Millions Found In Swiss Sewage EVERY YEAR
Thinking about a gold-panning holiday in Switzerland? Head south to Ticino, where concentrations of gold in sewage are “sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile”, according to a federal science report.
Every year, gold and silver worth CHF3 million ($3.06 million) is lost via effluents and sludge from wastewater treatment plants in Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) said on Tuesday.
The concentrations measured do not pose risks to the environment, and recycling would not be economically worthwhile, it added.
The study also produced findings on other trace elements in wastewater, including rare earth metals such as gadolinium and the heavy metal niobium. Trace elements are increasingly widely used in the high-tech and medical sectors – for example, the transition metal tantalum and the semimetal germanium in electronic components; niobium and titanium in alloys and coatings; or gadolinium as a contrast medium and in luminous paints.