Termites that poo gold

Where there’s termites, there’s gold.

At least that’s the theory followed by Australian scientists who have discovered termite mounds near goldfields contained high concentrations of gold.

They say the gold indicates a larger deposit underneath.

“The insects bring up small particles that contain gold from the deposit’s fingerprint, or halo, and effectively stockpile it in their mounds,” Dr Aaron Stewart, CSIRO entomologist told ScienceAlert.

Dr Stewart said much of the Australian landscape was covered by a layer of eroded material that hides what lies beneath.

Termites and ants burrow into this layer and bring traces of gold to the surface.
He said his team has also found metals traces in termite poo.

“Although the insects may not concentrate metals in their bodies, they actively rid their bodies of excess metals,” he said.

“This process shows up as little stones, much like kidney stones in people.

“This finding is important because these excretions are a driving force in redistribution of metals near the surface.”

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termites find gold australia
Just your average Australian goldfield.

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