Cape Town, June 15: Wheat transformed to gold- seems like magic. A South African has discovered the way of this miracle. Everyone’s favorite yellow metal can be harvested from wheat crops grown on mine dumps. South African geologist Tshiamo Legoale has won an international science competition, FameLab presenting a paper on this. She is the first South African to win this award. When Mine dump is very harmful, this innovation will help to reduce pollution.
After extraction of gold from ore, a residue exists. Using wheat enzymes, gold can be extracted from this residue. Gold is costly because easily does not react with other metals. Legoale commented gold as "the introvert of the periodic table" as it does not bond easily with other metals. But according to her research paper, wheat has the trick to bond with gold.
"I thought that if vegetation can be used in extracting harmful metals, why not do the same with metals we want?” She told. Through research, she found wheat could be used to absorb gold. From there she started her journey. She has described herself as a gold digger and a farmer.
With the use of additional technology, this idea is going to be used in Free State Area of Virginia. With the rehabilitation of mine dump this will create new job sector. "Science, when it is done well, can influence a sector but when it is done well and communicated well it can change the world." , she said.
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has congratulated her. This will help to benefit government’s plan to add value to mineral resources. This innovation is also in the line with Nine-Point plan to grow economy.