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Apple (AAPL) Recovered a Ton of Gold: How Much is it Worth?

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Apple Inc. (AAPL) released its annual environmental report this week, and there are some interesting tidbits within it. According to the document, Apple stated that it recovered 2,204 pounds, or 1.102 US tons, of gold from recycled iPhones, iPads and Macs last year. As of 12:43 PM ET the price of gold was $1,233.79 per troy ounce. That is a grand total of roughly $43.51 million worth of gold!

For those who do not take apart their gadgets to see how they function or those not too familiar with the science of metals, gold components are not uncommon in consumer electronics because it is highly averse to corrosion and an excellent conductor of electricity.

Here is a fun fact: pure silver and pure copper are both more conductive than pure gold. However, silver tarnishes, which means a high resistance oxide/sulfide forms on its surface, while oxidized copper is not very conductive. Gold, on the contrary, does neither, making it a more stable metal when electrical signals for computing need to me transmitted.

Of the 90 million pounds of e-waste through its recycling programs, Apple said over 61 million of those pounds were in reusable materials. Gold made up a relatively trivial amount – the lowest total of all the reusable materials – when compared to the 23.1 million lbs of steel, 13.4 million lbs of plastics, and 11.9 lbs of glass.

Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and is currently down just over 1% on the day.

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