India can extract $1 billion worth of gold from e-waste

India can extract $1 billion (Rs 6,900 crore) worth of gold from mining of urban e-waste, according to Economic Survey 2018-19. (File Photo)

India can extract $1 billion (Rs 6,900 crore) worth of gold from mining of urban e-waste, according to Economic Survey 2018-19.

"Various studies have analysed the economic impact of effective Resource Efficiency (RE) strategy and identified that Rs 6,000 crore can be saved in the manufacturing sector with its implementation," the Survey tabled in the Parliament on Thursday said.

Effective waste management policies can generate 14 lakh jobs and nearly $2.7 billion opportunity can be created from the extraction of eight million tonnes of steel from the end of life vehicles, it said.

Global E-waste Monitor, 2017 estimated that India was the fifth largest produdcer of e-waste by generating nearly 2 million metric tons of e-waste in 2016 and can earn the value of raw materials to the tune of 55 billion Euros if e-waste was properly mined. A great potential exists for RE in this sector by utilising recycling opportunities that exist.

For the formulation of effective RE strategy for the country, a detailed assessment for each of the sector contributing to the national income, its consumption of the raw materials as key inputs and its import dependence, volume of wastes/ scrap generated and recycled and availability of relevant technologies must be undertaken, the Economic Survey said.

Automobile scrap

The Economic Survey also highlighted that the country can also generate 10 million tonnes of steel scrap from the End of Life vehicles by 2025.

Indian auto industry is the fourth largest in the world and India's transport sector is being dominated by internal combustion engine (ICE) based vehicles. Studies estimate that Indian auto industry will consume around 70-80 million tonnes of iron and steel by 2030 which is around 70-80% of the total steel production capacity in India, the Survey said.

As India has a fragmented process of scrap collection, nearly 6-7 million tonnes per annum of steel scrap are being imported. Research suggest that around 2.18 crore vehicles will reach End of Life by 2025.

It is estimated that the steel production in India will reach 128.6 million tonnes by 2021 and its consumption will increase to 140 million tonnes by 2023. Thus, there is a need to augment the steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes per annum from 125 MTPA by 2030-31 which will require Rs 10 lakh crore of investment. It is estimated that 1.4 tonnes of iron ore, 0.6-0.7 tonnes of coking coal and around 0.2-0.3 tonnes of fluxes can be saved from recycling of one tonnes of steel scrap and thus indirectly will reduce the production which saves around 16-17% of energy, the Survey revealed.

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