A South Australian gold explorer hopes to find the precious metal in gum trees in a trial next year.
Australian researchers attracted worldwide interest last week when they released a study showing that tiny flecks of gold in the leaves of eucalyptus trees could lead miners to gold deposits.
Junior explorer Adelaide Resources says the CSIRO research on one of its gold prospects on the Eyre Peninsula could revolutionise exploration for smaller players.
"If we can clip a few leaves off the eucalypts and assess those and look at the relative gold-copper ratios, out of that might emerge drill targets and, if you're lucky, you then discover a mineral deposit beneath," managing director Chris Drown says.
The company is waiting on environmental and native title approvals before conducting a six-month trial of the technology on the peninsula.
Mr Drown said it was well known that vegetation could reflect what was beneath the surface, but detecting mineral deposits using the technique had not been developed to the point of widespread commercial use.
"We'd like to think perhaps that's where we can take it on our project," he said.
Mr Drown said the technique could also save costs for smaller exploration companies.