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Materials

Junkyard gold: Mitsubishi Materials scours globe using big data

Online platform links metal maker directly to suppliers of e-waste

Circuit boards used in computers, smartphones and other electronics contain many valuable metals. (Photo courtesy of the U.K. Ministry of Defence)

TOKYO -- Japan's Mitsubishi Materials has built an online platform to buy up scrap circuit boards from suppliers across the world and collect content data as it seeks to turn electronic waste into a stable source of gold, copper and other metals.

Using the platform, launched in December, the maker of nonferrous metals will directly negotiate with scrap collectors and make the process more efficient. Consolidating transactions into one platform allows the company to accumulate data on metal content of scraps from different areas.

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