The Fusarium Oxysporum fungus attaches gold to its strands by dissolving and precipitating particles from the environment. It was discovered in Western Australia surprises scientists.
There can be a biological advantage in this process as the gold coated fungi grows larger and spread faster than the other species that don’t come in contact with the precious metal. “Fungi are well-known for playing an essential role in the degradation and recycling of organic material, such as leaves and bark, as well as for the cycling of other metals, including aluminium, iron, manganese and calcium, But gold is so chemically inactive that this interaction is both unusual and surprising – it had to be seen to be believed” CSIRO researcher Dr Tsing Bohu said.
Chief research scientist Dr Ravi Anand said the industry was already using natural products that can store tiny traces as gold such as gum leaves and termite moulds to help the exploration sampling.
This species is found around the world and is not something prospectors should be looking forward to as the particles of gold are Microscopic.