Why some regions are richer in gold deposits than others ? The mystery of the formation gold deposits and gold veins has been solved by CNRS researchers.
Which process could have possibly lead to the creation of gold veins or gold nuggets or other elementary aggregates ? The issue is even more complex to solve that gold is one of the rarest metals of our planet (its concentration in the earth’s crust is estimated at 1 mg per tonne) and it is almost impossible to transport by geological fluids known to date.
CNRS (National Scientific Research Centre in Toulouse) proved after conducting laboratory studies that the trisulfide ion (chemical symbol: S3) binds to gold atoms and thus facilitated pulling on rocky substrates the waterborne transportation and deposition in areas of gold deposits.
The gold veins are created at temperatures around of 300 ° C, with pressure up to more than 2000 times atmospheric pressure that we know us.
How CNRS researchers have reproduce the experiment in laboratory ?
In a large pressurized thermal chamber, equipped with a spectroscope, CNRS researchers were able to reproduce an environment similar to that mentioned above. By experimenting with different forms of sulphur, researchers found that the trisulfide S3 (S3 ion quoted above) had a propensity to transport gold from 10 to 100 times greater than other geological fluids analyzed.
This discovery could lead in particular to progress in the search for gold deposits and to locate new precious metal resources.
» When we know that the Earth’s crust measuring about 40 km thick and the deepest wells do not exceed one tenth of that shell, we mesure the potential gold deposit that remains to be explored on Earth. «
If the formation of gold veins seems finally understood, there is no doubt that scientists will exploit this discovery to improve production yields of gold mines worldwide.