There’s gold in those iPhones, but are they mineable? [Infographic]
With the next version of the iPhone just around the corner, many folks are wondering where they'll be able to find the money to pay for the newest and greatest. Well, it seems that your current iPhone may be just the buried treasure you need, if you don't mind getting your hands dirty mining it for its hidden wealth.
You might not realize it, but the guts of your favorite iPhone is littered with all kinds of precious metals and lots of "rare earth" minerals. In fact, that electronic marvel holds any where from 6 to 300 times more precious metal that the same weight of ore from a mine.
For example, each iPhone 5 contains $1.58 of gold, $0.12 of copper, $0.36 of silver, and $0.05 of platinum, but the riches don't stop there. It is also a container for "rare earth" minerals like Europium, Lanthanum, Yttrium, Neodymium, and Gadolinium; all of which are needed in order for all our modern gadgets to work.
Before you rush out to get yourself some mining gear, you have to understand that currently there is no good, or environmentally safe way to get these minerals out of the phones. It is because of this difficulty that less than one percent of the rare earth minerals used in phones are ever recycled.