Re: Phyto-mining

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 12:00:38 MDT

altamira wrote:
> USDA Agrucultural Research News
> First 3 paragraphs:
> Miners might have been better off farming plants rather than digging pits
> for high-grade ores.
> U.S. Department of Agriculture agronomist Rufus L. Chaney and colleagues in
> USDA's Agricultural Research Service, at the University of Maryland, and in
> England have patented a way to use plants to "phyto-mine" nickel, cobalt and
> other metals.
> Phyto-mining, or biomining, is the use of plants to extract valuable
> heavy-metal minerals from soils.

This would require that you spread out low quality ores already dug out of the
ground, and grow your pennycress on top of it to extract higher grade ore, all
while polluting your watershed with high heavy metal content runoff.

Growing this on normal soil would cause the plants to leach nutrient levels of
the metals out of the soil, degrading the quality of the soil.

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