Scientists from the University of Toulouse have found out why hazardous minerals often accompany gold deposits.
Scientists still do not know by what principle gold deposits are located in the Earth.
In the new work, the authors studied in detail the structure of gold minerals using the ESRF synchrotron to understand this. As a result, it turned out that positively charged gold ions combine with negatively charged arsenic ions especially actively.
This stabilizes them so that gold builds up inside the minerals rich in arsenic, iron and sulfur.
Arsenic is the main driving factor in the formation of gold deposits. From a practical point of view, this means that it will be easier for us to look for new sources of gold and other noble metals, the atoms of which accumulate in sulfur compounds containing arsenic.
Gleb Pokrovsky, study author and researcher at the University of Toulouse
If there is not enough arsenic in a particular rock, then the gold binds to sulfur atoms, and then is quickly washed out of the minerals. If there is a lot of arsenic, gold begins to accumulate much faster.
The results of this study, according to scientists, will help not only to discover and develop new gold deposits faster, but also to process gold-bearing ore more efficiently.