Mint Innovation has restarted the construction of its first UK-based commercial-scale refinery extracting precious metals from electronics. Work was temporarily put on hold following the Covid-19 outbreak.

New Zealand start-up Mint Innovation expects the new e-scrap hub, being built in Cheshire, will be online by the end of August 2021. Feedstocks will be sourced from the north of England.

The company made headlines with its recycling solution because it does not rely on aggressive chemicals like cyanide. Instead, the process – a combination of hydrometallurgy and biotechnology – uses bacteria to leach out the valuable metals.

Mint Innovation chief scientific officer Ollie Crush compares the operation to a ‘microbrewery’.

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