Using DNA profiling on gold grains collected from two gold mines in Australia, scientists have been able to single out a bacteria, Ralstonia metallidurans, that is capable of precipitating dissolved gold.
“By placing a culture of the R. metallidurans in the presence of dissolved gold, which is highly toxic to microorgansims, I observed active gold precipitation.
“A unique attribute of R. metallidurans is that it is able to survive in concentrations of gold that would kill most other micro-organisms.”
As the scientists say, this present great potential in gold mining using bio-precipitation as a method to retirieve gold from solution. Their discoveries were published last month in Science.