Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. John G. Groppo


Work has been done to establish, through the development and use of novel assay techniques and analysis metrics, the contained value of a sampling of laptop computers (as an analog for myriad e-waste sources). This work has conceptualized e-waste as an alternative to geologic-origin complex metallic ores and has likewise evaluated the feasibility of value recovery from e-waste sources in a similar manner to an ore. The application of conventional and novel mineral separation techniques to e-waste recycling processes has been evaluated and positive results are demonstrated. Further, this work has demonstrated the ability to identify the presence of base and precious metals within e-waste sources, concentrate these materials, and reject fractions of little to no inherent value. Finally, the results of this work indicate that the grade of critical and value metals present in e-waste is much higher (one and two orders of magnitude greater, in some cases), than in even the richest ore bodies, globally.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

Mining Engineering Foundation, University of Kentucky Department of Mining Engineering-Mining Engineering Foundation Fellowship (2021-2022)