By Walt Bonner
Published September 02, 2015
The heat is on for prospectors in what could be the next gold rush. According to a recent study in the journal Geothermics, a team of geologists has discovered a mother lode of gold and silver inside super-heated reservoirs within New Zealand’s Taupo Volcanic Zone. Extreme heat from the volcanoes’ magma plumes is heating water, producing acidic underground reservoirs and springs that in turn dissolve the surrounding rock. This then allows the embedded gold and silver to come loose and collect in the water. If successfully drilled, one well could yield as much as $2.7 million in gold a year.
According to lead study author Stuart Simmons, a research professor at the University of Utah’s Energy & Geoscience Institute, gold and silver depositing in hot springs and geothermal wells is nothing new. Apparently this was first discovered over 50 years ago, with New Zealand’s ‘Champagne Pool’ hot spring one of the only places in the world where tourists can actually see this phenomenon happen.
“If you Google ‘Champagne Pool’ online, you will see photos of the striking orange-colored precipitates that deposit around the edge of the pool,” Simmons told FoxNews.com. “Those precipitates are rich in gold, silver, mercury, thallium, arsenic and antimony.”
The road to this new discovery began 15 years ago, when Simmons and a colleague constructed a special device to lower down wells up to 1.8 miles deep, obtaining hot samples of thermal water to determine the concentration of precious minerals.