Jun 17, 2019 | Updated: 11:38 AM EDT

Gold & Uranium: Its Ore-Forming Process Recent Discovery In South Africa

Apr 25, 2017 06:13 PM EDT

Gold and Uranium Ore
(Photo : expeditionlog/youtube) An underwater Hydrothermal Vent known as Black Smokers is the source of the complex Gold-Uranium Ore deposits precipitate. These vents are found in Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Gold and Uranium are the two of the most sought-after metals in the world today. These metals are coveted not only for its value but also of its usage to a wide variety of Industries. The formation of Gold and Uranium ores was recently published by the scientific journal "Precambrian Research" which yield results of their studies on how Gold and Uranium were formed.

Scientists from Canada and GEOMAR Helmholtz Center of Ocean Research Kiel finally and successfully solved the equation on how Gold and Uranium deposits were formed three billion years ago. GEOMAR and the Canadian research teams figured out the process by using complex analysis in Witwatersrand basin in South Africa where the world's largest gold deposits are found.

The study conducted by the team used high-resolution scanning and transmission electron microscopes. The data derived from the Witwatersrand samples are then processed using 2D and 3D Computer Aided Drawing software. The data showed that fossil oil formed by organic matter from the first living organisms on the earth used the black smoker highway to get through the underwater hydrothermal vents. Dr. Sebastian Fuchs, the lead author of the study from GEOMAR, explained that uraninite nanoparticles formed clustered lumps in the fossil oil forming uranium ore, reports GEOMAR.

The underwater hydrothermal vents known as black smokers has a temperature of 700 degrees F or 371.111 degrees C, is transporting dissolve gold and fossil oil in water emulsion at the vents' site. The liquid emulsion droplets solidify, a chemical process called precipitation, upon reaching the exhaust vents in icy water conditions, a very complex and sophisticated formation of gold-uranium ore takes place.

Dr. Fuchs further explained that their method enabled them to visualize, with the aid of high-resolution imaging techniques, remnants of the fossil fuel oil embedded in gold ore for the first time. He said that a spatial relationship between fossil oil and the gold and uranium ores are very embedding, as reported by Science News Line.

The researchers hope that someday, technology might be able to mine gold and uranium from crude oil using similar techniques they did with the hydrothermal vents and the precipitation process.

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