Termites may not be the deadliest insects on earth, but they are certainly the richest. Not too long ago, researchers from Australia discovered bits of gold littered throughout the nests of termites. Now some experts believe that some of these termites can help miners find gold buried deep beneath the ground.
In the United States, mineral exports only make up a small percentage of exports, but one third of Australia’s exports are in minerals. The United States is a major importer of many Australian minerals. However, mining industries in Australia are mostly concerned with gold at the moment. This is because it looks like termites can take mining industrialists straight to the source.
The Moolart Well deposit is one location in Western Australia that has been heavily mined for the past one hundred and fifty years. According to a researcher, Aaron Stewart, an entomologist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, the Moolart Well deposit has become largely abandoned because gold prospectors could no longer penetrate the deep crust far beneath the earth’ surface.
Mny mining companies in Australia are now taking a second look at Moolart since termites don’t seem to be having a problem finding gold in the region. Scientists say that the termite colonies could be used to track areas where gold lies underground. By analyzing which regions have termite nests that contain the largest amounts of gold, gold mining prospectors can now narrow down the most gold-rich regions of the Moolart deposit.
Termites have helped researchers find valuables in the past. Termite nest locations can be very old, and they can serve as indications as to which types of animal bones could be unearthed near the nests. Paleontologists have dissected large termite nests and have found fossilized insects that no longer exist in the area, but the golden-nests have quite a bit more people excited over termites.
Do you think that the termites will end up giving researchers valid indications as to where gold is located?