By Kari Williamson

Under the JV, Itrimex Ltd, the two companies are developing a low-cost, low-energy technology for rapid removal of metals for final recovery from circuit board waste, enabling efficient recovery of tin, copper, lead, silver and other precious metals.

A pilot plant is under construction in the Wirral, UK and will be operational within three months ITRI says.

David Bishop, Managing Director of ITRI, comments: "Pressure to recover metals efficiently from waste electronics scrap is growing with increasing commodity prices and constrained supplies. At the same time new regulations such as the revised WEEE Directive in Europe will mandate increasing targets for waste electronics collection. We believe this technology represents a significant advancement in metals recycling."

Once proven at pilot plant scale, the technology will be licensed globally.

Jonathan Quinn, Managing Director of Ultromex, adds "The Itrimex process extracts metals at high concentrations and recoveries, ensuring that maximum returns are achieved from the final refining stage. It is simple and cost effective and can treat any grade and type of scrap boards (low, medium and high grade)."