Current Event: Australian Scientits Find Gold in Trees Eucalyptus

This can be the face of Australia’s new gold rush, but the amount of gold that can be extracted from the leaves from 500 of these trees growing over a gold deposit would only yield enough to make a single wedding band. Not necessarily a promising endeavor, but nonetheless the “euphoria” these Australian scientists felt at finding gold in the leaves of eucalyptus trees is not surprising at all, and there is talk of biogeochemical sampling of the soils in the area to get a good understanding of how much gold is present in the soils. However, if reaching this gold is a thought, there are many environmental costs that need to be weighed against the benefits of gold. Including the fact that the gold itself sits 30 meters bellow the surface, where these eucalyptus trees roots tap into the element and bring gold and water up through its roots, accumulating in the leaves so that the tree can eventually expel this toxic metal when the leaves fall.





-Ashley Tims

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