Indonesian and Australian scientists are searching for buried treasure: using the movement of tectonic plates to predict when and where giant deposits of gold and copper should form, while building an understanding of the conditions these deposits are created in.
The project, which began in 2013 and is due for completion in 2016, is using Southeast Asia as a ‘natural laboratory’ to explore these natural processes and their products. Knowing when and how deposits formed can help us understand geological processes occurring today.
Predictive mineral exploration by Australian scientists has given local mining companies a powerful edge in the hotly competitive world gold market. Instead of pouring money – and lots of it – into the ground in the quest for undiscovered mineral deposits: often coming up empty.
Two thousand years ago, Roman glass blowers used gold nanocrystals to create vases with brilliant colours ranging from red to purple. Today, gold nanocrystals are being used as catalysts in chemical reactions and may even become high-density data storage devices.
Gold nanocrystals aren’t gold in colour. They change colour as their size and shape change.