Current status

Natural gold mine and urban mine

On world average, the amount of gold extracted from 1 ton of gold ore is approximately 5 grams (the equivalent of 1 ring). By contrast, 1 ton of discarded mobile phones (about 10,000 devices) can yield up to 400 grams of gold (the equivalent of 80 rings). It is clear that the latter is highly cost efficient. 

Price movement of gold

Gold, for example, is suitable for recycling as it is reusable without any degradation after refinement. In addition, it has a stable value as a ‘financial product’. The price of gold has been uptrend since the Washington agreement in 1999, from around $300 - 400/ounce to over $1,600/ounce in the 7 years between 2005 and 2012, jumping by 4 times. Being a rare material that always has a market value not only for jewelries but also for industrial and commercial purposes, it is highly meaningful to keep it in circulation.

Import/export trend of gold

Export of gold from Japan has been on the increase, reaching a record 237 tons in 2010. Conversely, import has diminished, hitting the lowest quantity in 2012, and overall exports have exceeded imports after 2003. Although natural gold mines do exist in Japan, it is believed that there is enough precious metal in the country to meet domestic demand from urban mines alone.

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