Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Perth, in the month of October 2013 revealed that they found tiny particles of gold in the eucalyptus trees. The researchers explained that the discovery of hidden gold in trees can help the future prospectors to find out more about the precious metal.
The Australian researchers explained that the trees were on the top of gold deposits which were rooted deep in the ground. In order to search for the moisture, these trees suck more of gold. The Geochemist at CSIRO, Melvyn Lintern explained that seeing the gold particles in leaves was surprising. Certain trees on which the research was done, brought the gold from a depth of 30 metres, which is equal to the 10-storey building.
This gold was found in resource-rich Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia, which, in late 1800s was a primary site of the major gold rush. In order to analyse the extremely small particles at the high resolution, the scientists made use of CSIRO’s Maia detector at Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne for X-ray imaging. The scientists found out that gold particles with the diameter one-fifth of a human hair were present in the trees.
Melvyn Lintern also explained that the eucalyptus acts as a hydraulic pump. The roots of these trees extend to tens of metres into the ground. Because the gold is toxic for the plants, therefore, it eventually moved into the leaves as well as the branches where it can be shed to ground. The researchers made use of the technique called biogeochemical sampling in order to give indication of gold’s presence beneath the surface.
The same method can also used for finding out other metals like copper and zinc. The researchers also explored the gold in leaves of other trees like Acacia Mulga.
The latest discoveries of gold fell by 45 percent in past 10 years. In the year 2011, the US Geological Survey revealed that there was around 51000 tonnes of gold remaining in reserve of the world.