More than eight tons of precious metals, mostly gold, silver and copper, have been refined for this summer’s Olympic awards. Less than a month away, the London Summer Olympics will award 4,700 medals to winning athletes.
Rio Tinto was charged with mining the metals, which were recently stowed in the vaults at the Tower of London, the same venue that holds the crown jewels. The Kennecott copper mine, adjacent to Salt Lake City, Utah and Mongolia’s Oyu Tolgoi mines are the source of the extracted metals.
The Olympic prizes were created by the British Royal Mint, and will be held at the Tower of London under armed guard until their public appearance at the games. Designed by David Watkins, the medals feature Nike, the Greek goddess of victory on one side and the Thames River on the reverse. Both silver and gold medals contain 92.5% silver. This year’s medals are among the largest ever made for the Olympic Games.