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Tokyo Olympic medals to be made from e-waste

Japan is lacking in natural resources, but it is the home of one of the world's biggest "urban mines."

TOKYO -- Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are hoping to source the gold, silver and bronze needed to make medals for the games by tapping the country's "urban mine" -- made up of millions of discarded smartphones and other small consumer electronics.

Such electronic waste contains enough precious metals to produce all the medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Japan's capital four years from now, according to a group of Olympic organizers, government officials and company executives that discussed the proposal in June.

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