Japaneses cities mine precious metals in cremated remains

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  • Sun, Jan 18, 2009 - 09:33am



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    Japaneses cities mine precious metals in cremated remains

Looks like I need to revise my will to cover this one:

"Several municipalities have been reaping profits from precious
metals, including gold, silver and palladium, sifted from the ashes of
the cremated dead, The Asahi Shimbun has learned.

Few bereaved families know about the practice at public-run crematoriums.

Many municipalities put the profits from the metals, which come
from capped teeth, artificial bones and other parts, into their
coffers. Some sell the residual ashes left behind after the mourners
have completed the ritual of packing the deceased’s bones into an urn.

Some cities say they earn millions of yen a year from metals found in the ashes."

Full article here: Asahi Shimbun


Perhaps "other parts" would cover people like "The Man with the Golden (ahem) Gun".

They’ll have to pry my King 2B solid silver trombone from my cold, dead panda paws. 




  • Sun, Jan 18, 2009 - 08:34pm


    Arthur Vibert

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    Posts: 54

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    Re: Japaneses cities mine precious metals in cremated …

Not all that surprising, reallly. In the U.S. garbage dumps are being eyed as good sources of high quality metals – iron, aluminum, copper, etc. It’s all in there and it’s already in a high quality state (as opposed to raw ore). Why dig it out of the ground when you can just head over to the local dump and access it there? As the quality of raw ore in the earth declines and extraqction costs rise, dumps will look more and more attractive. Apparently they already are in Japan:

high-tech rubbish dumps – the vast "urban mines" of landfill outside
every big city – have grown so huge that the country now ranks among
the biggest natural resource nations in the world, Times Online reports.

to new calculations by the National Institute for Materials Science
(NIMS) in Tsukuba, if these electronics-rich treasure troves were
properly tapped, supposedly resource-poor Japan would suddenly join the
likes of Australia, Canada and Brazil in the top five producers of some
elements such as gold, silver, indium or platinum.


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