Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sulfur proves important in the formation of gold mines

Date:
January 7, 2011
Source:
University of Western Ontario
Summary:
Collaborating with an international research team, an economic geologist has discovered how gold-rich magma is produced, unveiling an all-important step in the formation of gold mines. Robert Linnen found sulfur enhances gold's solubility, and solubility is an important step in forming a gold deposit. The study could lead to a breakthrough in choosing geographic targets for gold exploration.

Collaborating with an international research team, an economic geologist from The University of Western Ontario has discovered how gold-rich magma is produced, unveiling an all-important step in the formation of gold mines.

Related Articles


The findings were published in the December issue of Nature Geoscience.

Robert Linnen, the Robert Hodder Chair in Economic Geology in Western's Department of Earth Sciences conducts research near Kirkland Lake, Ontario and says the results of the study could lead to a breakthrough in choosing geographic targets for gold exploration and making exploration more successful.

Noble metals, like gold, are transported by magma from deep within the mantle (below the surface) of the Earth to the shallow crust (the surface), where they form deposits. Through a series of experiments, Linnen and his colleagues from the University of Hannover (Germany), the University of Potsdam (Germany) and Laurentian University found that gold-rich magma can be generated in mantle also containing high amounts of sulfur.

"Sulfur wasn't recognized as being that important, but we found it actually enhances gold solubility and solubility is a very important step in forming a gold deposit," explains Linnen. "In some cases, we were detecting eight times the amount of gold if sulfur was also present."

Citing the World Gold Council, Linnen says the best estimates available suggest the total volume of gold mined up to the end of 2009 was approximately 165,600 tonnes. Approximately 65 per cent of that total has been mined since 1950.

"All the easy stuff has been found," offers Linnen. "So when you project to the future, we're going to have to come up with different ways, different technologies and different philosophies for finding more resources because the demand for resources is ever-increasing."

Linnen's research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Western Ontario. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roman E. Botcharnikov, Robert L. Linnen, Max Wilke, Francois Holtz, Pedro J. Jugo, Jasper Berndt. High gold concentrations in sulphide-bearing magma under oxidizing conditions. Nature Geoscience, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1042

Cite This Page:

University of Western Ontario. "Sulfur proves important in the formation of gold mines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106164626.htm>.
University of Western Ontario. (2011, January 7). Sulfur proves important in the formation of gold mines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106164626.htm
University of Western Ontario. "Sulfur proves important in the formation of gold mines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106164626.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nations Pledge $9.3 Bn for Green Climate Fund

Nations Pledge $9.3 Bn for Green Climate Fund

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) — Nations meeting in Berlin pledge $9.3 billion (7.4 bn euros) for a climate fund to help poor countries cut emissions and prepare for global warming, just shy of a $10bn target. Duration: 00:46 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's The Point Of Climate Conferences?

What's The Point Of Climate Conferences?

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) — There's optimism about the U.N.'s climate conference in Paris next year, and if climate conferences past are anything to go off, that's notable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Giant Panda at Toronto Zoo Loves Somersaulting in the Snow

Giant Panda at Toronto Zoo Loves Somersaulting in the Snow

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) — A giant panda at the Toronto Zoo named Da Mao is celebrating the northeast snowfall by playing and tumbling in the snow in his outdoor enclosure. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Out What's Been Killing Millions Of Starfish

Scientists Find Out What's Been Killing Millions Of Starfish

Newsy (Nov. 18, 2014) — Scientists have found the cause of the biggest marine epidemic in history: the virus behind starfish wasting disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins