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Sony to Test Rare Metals Recycling in Kitakyushu

Fukuoka, Japan, Aug 6, 2008 (Jiji Press) - Sony Corp. <6758> and the city of Kitakyushu said Wednesday that they will test the recycling of rare metals used in small electronic devices from Sept. 1.

At a cost of about 22 million yen, of which 2 million yen will be financed by the southwestern Japan city, the two parties will collect digital cameras, portable digital music players, handheld game machines, electronic dictionaries, voice recorders, and other used devices except mobile phones, which are already widely recycled.

They will place recycling boxes at some 60 sites in the city, including do-it-yourself stores and supermarkets, for the test through March 31, 2009.

Kitakyushu-based Nippon Magnetic Dressing Co. will separate nonferrous metals from collected devices and sell the metals to Sony. Sony will outsource their refining and reuse extracted gold and platinum as well as silver and copper for its products.

Sony has reused plastics collected from cathode ray tube televisions for its liquid crystal display televisions, but this will be its first reuse attempt other than that, a company official said.

Rare metals are indispensable for the production of solar batteries, nuclear power generators, and hybrid cars. But their prices are soaring as demand is increasing and only a limited number of countries produce them.

By Jiji Press, (c) Jiji Press

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