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Japanese companies digging for gold in urban waste

Mitsubishi Materials, others investing in recycling to fend off rare metals shortage

The gold, silver and bronze medals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are to be made from the country's urban mines -- made up of millions of discarded smartphones and other consumer electronics.

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Materials, Dowa Holdings and others are sifting through mountains of discarded electronics and other products to recover gold, platinum, palladium and other rare metals.

Driving the recycling efforts, which have recently been increasing, is an expected shortage of the metals.

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