Where does all Earths gold come from? Precious metals the result of meteorite bombardment
Where does all Earths gold come from? Precious metals the result of meteorite bombardment, rock analysis finds.
Ultra high precision analyses of some of the oldest rock samples on Earth by researchers at the University of Bristol provides clear evidence that the planet’s accessible reserves of precious metals are the result of a bombardment of meteorites more than 200 million years after Earth was formed.
During the formation of Earth, molten iron sank to its centre to make the core. This took with it the vast majority of the planet’s precious metals — such as gold and platinum. In fact, there are enough precious metals in the core to cover the entire surface of Earth with a four-metre thick layer.
Dr Willbold continued: “Our work shows that most of the precious metals on which our economies and many key industrial processes are based have been added to our planet by lucky coincidence when the Earth was hit by about 20 billion billion tonnes of asteroidal material.”
The original article is published in Nature.
NeilS – It is indeed interesting to consider when and where the earth’s precious metals came from. These metals have been coveted by human beings for thousands of years due to their appealing aesthetic value and lack of abundance. What I find most fascinating is the sheer quantity of gold and platinum trapped in the core of our planet. I wonder what the price of gold per ounce must be before companies start drilling into the core to suck out this precious metal. With gold prices rising at an astronomical and unprecedented pace, we just might find out.