In fact, Apple recovered 2,204 pounds of gold via recycling old devices, which BusinessInsider reckons fetched around $40 million at current market rates. Not bad considering the average smartphone contains just 30 milligrams of gold. That’s a lot of recyclin’.
Despite its high price compared to other metals, gold plating is used within circuitboard connectors because of its corrosion-resistant properties. Extraction from old electronic equipment is a growing industry – a quick YouTube search will reveal many industrious individuals who use a variety of methods – typically soaking the boards in chemical solutions – to recover the material, which they then sell.