Eucalyptus and acacia trees growing in the outback of Australia send their roots deep into the bedrock in search of water, absorbing gold particles that are then deposited in their leaves.
According to a new study published in Nature Communications, which analyzed eucalyptus and acacia trees growing at the Freddo and Barns Gold prospects in Western Australia and South Australia, this biogeochemical absorption of gold could lead to new and more successful prospecting methods.
Scientists have known for some time that trees absorb minerals through their leaves, but they were unable to prove these came from underground and not from surface soil deposits.
Read the article: Lintern, M. et al. (2013) Natural gold particles in Eucalyptus leaves and their relevance to exploration for buried gold deposits. Nat. Commun.
See the story on CNN: Scientists find gold growing in trees in Australia