Ants and termites could provide a low-cost and environmentally friendly way of exploring for deposits of gold and other minerals instead of traditional drilling methods.
Dr Aaron Stewart of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation said “We’re using insects to help find new gold and other mineral deposits. These resources are becoming increasingly hard to find because much of the Australian landscape is covered by a layer of eroded material that masks what’s going on deeper underground.”
The insects burrow into the eroded material and bring up small particles that then become part of their nests or mounds on the surface. By studying the mounds, scientists have a good indication of the deposits underneath, helping them to locate gold and other minerals with minimum disruption to the environment, and more accuracy – which reduces costs.
More on this at the CSIRO website