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12 Oct 2017

Scientists find gold worth $2 million in Swiss sewage

Scientists find gold worth $2 million in Swiss sewage
CNN:

Scientists have struck gold in an unlikely place: Swiss sewage and waste water treatment plants.

An estimated 95 pounds of gold is flushed through Swiss sewage systems each year, according to a study by the aquatic science institute Eawag.

The lost gold is worth nearly $2 million at current prices.

The researchers believe the tiny flecks of gold flow into the waste water system from the country's famed watchmaking industry and gold refineries.

The study, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, involved surveys of 64 waste water treatment plants across the country.

Some areas had higher concentrations of gold than others.

In one part of southern Switzerland that is home to several gold refineries, elevated levels of metal deposits might even be worth collecting.

"Concentrations of gold in sewage sludge are sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile," the researchers wrote.

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