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The latest Olympic event -- urban mining

The 2020 Games might show off a resource-rich Japan

A boy enters the 2020 Olympic urban mining preliminaries by depositing a handset into a special recycling box at a Tokyo municipal office building on March 24.

TOKYO -- The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has begun collecting old mobile phones and other small devices to create medals for the 2020 spectacle.

Japan has long harbored hope for urban mining -- the extraction of rare and precious metals from discarded electronics. Now the resource-poor country has a globally recognized brand -- the Olympics -- to help give impetus to the movement.

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