Gold plantation! Scientists claim metal has been growing on trees

Contrary to what many think, it is not only through conventional mining that gold can be found, it has, surprisingly, been found in eucalyptus trees in Kalgoorlie, in Australia.

Australian scientists find gold in trees

Research carried out by scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), published in Nature Communications, revealed an interesting phenomenon: some trees have the ability to absorb gold particles from the soil with their roots.

This is how eucalyptus can absorb gold particles – Image: Nature Communications/Reproduction

This innovative discovery suggests a new path in the search for minerals, in which trees can become fundamental players in the search for gold and other ores.

The eucalyptus trees in this area are known for their deep roots that can penetrate underground water to survive. Interestingly, the roots also access gold deposits present in deeper layers.

Investigating the ancient belief about trees’ golden leaves, scientists examined eucalyptus leaves in the region and confirmed the presence of traces of gold.

The roots of such trees grew up to ten stories deep and absorbed small traces of gold from nearby deposits.

To prove the theory, the researchers grew eucalyptus trees in soil enriched with gold, which once again confirmed the presence of the metal in the leaves.

This identification was a significant advance, achieved through the use of x-ray technology at the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne.

This technology allowed a detailed visualization of gold particles, with dimensions smaller than those of a strand of human hair.

Although the particles absorbed by trees may be too small for direct mining, their value lies in indicating the presence of gold within reach of tree roots.

Mel Lintern, geochemist at CSIRO, highlighted that analyzing leaves and branches could reduce costs and environmental impacts, as it would only require organic samples and chemical and x-ray analyzes in the laboratory.

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