BlueOak Resources has partnered with the Arkansas Teachers’ Retirement Fund and the Arkansas Development Finance Authority towards the build-out of the first urban mining refinery in the US capable of retrieving valuable metals from e-waste.
The facility is the first urban mining facility of its kind in the US, an example of the kind of development that can reinvigorate the US manufacturing sector, BlueOak says.
The company says it intends to capitalize on the high demand for “technology metals” like gold, silver, copper and palladium by creating distributed urban refineries in the US and throughout the world that recover high-value metals from e-waste.
Production at the Arkansas facility will begin by the end of 2015, initially processing 15 million pounds of electronic scrap per year, with plans for rapid expansion, bringing 50 high-paying technical jobs to the area.
The parties have invested an initial capital amount of $35 million towards the facility.
The global volume of e-waste generated is expected to reach 93.5 million tons in 2016 from 41.5 million tons in 2011 at a compound annual growth rate of 17.6 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to a February report from Marketsandmarkets.