A ton of used mobile phones, or approximately 6,000 handsets, contains about 3.5 kg of silver, 340 grams of gold, 140 grams of palladium, and 130 kg of copper

The latest documentary from Devon resident Simon Reeve is definitely worth a watch if you want an up-to-date lesson in resource management and gold mining in South America.

In Episode 1 of Simon Reeve’s South America, released this month, he visits the rainforests of Surinam and hears about gold mining. Local mine owner Ronnie Brunswijk talks about the gold he has mined. This is where the gold in our smartphones is likely to be coming from.

This would be useful to all Geography teachers wanting up-to-date case studies about resource extraction!

The series is available on iPlayer (TV license required).

Still captured from documentary Simon Reeve's South America showing scarring of the rainforest in Surinam left by gold mining