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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Mining gold from computers: can you make money?


Every time you throw away or recycle a cell phone, computer or other electronic device, you are throwing away gold. Gold is an efficient conductor of electricity and does not corrode, which is why it is used in virtually every piece of electronics. You can take out the gold using products you probably already have at home, but is mining gold from computers profitable?

With gold selling for more than $1,848 per troy ounce, old electronics may seem like an untapped gold mine. You may suddenly have visions of making a fortune from that unused stack of computers in the corner of your basement. Unfortunately, the following facts suggest that mining gold from computers may not be worth it.

Required amount of material

You may need a lot of circuit boards. Literal. For every ton (2000 pounds) of desktop PC circuit boards, one could extract approximately 5 troy ounces of gold, which would generate $9,240 in revenue.

Need storage

You may need space to store the vast amount of electronic material required to make the business profitable. Unless you have such a space, renting a space would reduce your profits. The extraction also requires heavy chemicals, so your storage space must also be suitable for storing chemicals.


Mining gold from electronics releases toxic fumes that you don’t want anyone to inhale. In addition, hazardous waste is produced that can be dangerous to your health if not handled properly. You will need a mask and safety equipment.

Time consuming

Finding enough material to extract a significant amount of gold will take a lot of time and effort. Furthermore, it will take the average person months or even years to extract the gold from the amount of electronics. It’s not easy money.

Waste processing

You can’t just take the waste to the landfill. Once you mine the gold, you’ll have hazardous waste and electronic parts to throw away. This is not only inconvenient, but will likely reduce profitability.

Legal implications

If proper disposal procedures for hazardous waste disposal are not followed, you could face fines, jail time, or both.

Although every piece of electronics contains a certain amount of gold, extracting gold from computers would require an enormous amount of time and energy to make any amount of money for the reasons stated above. It might be a fun science experiment, but that’s about it.

What about you, Clever Friends, have you ever tried to get gold from electronics?

Read more from Smart Guy

Check out these other related articles…you won’t regret it.

Bonus reading

If you’re looking for ways to make extra money that are a little easier to implement, consider reading Dollar Sanity’s article at side hustle. There are some good ideas in there. Finally, if you want to make easy money with gold, you can simply sell your jewelry. Mighty bargain hunter did that a good article on that subject.

Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger by night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always looking to stretch the family budget as far as possible.




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