The precious minerals include tungsten, gold, platinum and palladium and others. Each of the shortlisted companies is based in North America.

Increasingly, electronic waste holds enough precious metals, rare earth elements and other key materials to sustain modern industrial demands, says GTSO. Japan has the equivalent of 16% of the world’s gold reserves, 6,800 metric tons, in its mobile phones, according to the country’s National Institute for Materials Science.

“GTSO is excited about our progress in the second quarter of 2012 and plans to refine both our traditional and urban mining operations to meet the growing demand for endangered minerals such as tungsten,” said GTSO CEO Paul Watson. ““Demand and prices for valuable metals have risen to unprecedented levels, and we feel we’re well-positioned to capitalize.”