This South African geologist is the brains behind using wheat to 'grow' gold

Geologist Tshiamo Legoale, is an international science competition winner for her scientific research using wheat to "grow" gold.

Legoale was awarded the Fame Lab award in the United Kingdom.

She says using plants to extract metal from soil, through research, they were able to determine that certain plants are hyper-accumulators, meaning they are able to take up metal in larger quantities than normal.

Wheat happens to be one such hyper-accumulator of gold and that's why they are using it. It has the ability to dissolve and absorb gold.

Tshiamo Legoale, geologist

Read: SA born Athol Williams awarded Oxford University distinction

We could use the soil not only for agricultural purposes but also for mining on its own.

Tshiamo Legoale, geologist

Enzymes are released from the roots of the wheat and this makes the gold soluble so after it's dissolved, the wheat is able to take it up and it is stored in parts of the plant cell, so when you harvest the wheat, you harvest it as wheat that is washed and dried with amounts of gold explains Legoale.

Listen to the rest of the interview on phytomining mining:


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