Meet Tshiamo Legoale, the under 30 scientist who is researching a method of using wheat to harvest gold from dumps. South African geologist- Tshaimo Legoale in 2017 was awarded the UK FameLab International Champion award after her mind blowing 3 minute talk based on her research of how South Africa can harvest gold from wheat crops grown on mine dumps.
Legoale’s wheat-to-gold method could mean a safer alternative to illegal mining, and one that actually provides socioeconomic benefits for poorer communities living near the dumps. After bagging a degree in Geology with the University of the Free-State, Mineral Resource Management with Wits University, Thsiamo as a scientist joined Small Scale Mining; working with marginalised communities and assisting them in the legal mining of local geological orebodies.
Her works include Phytomining which involves using wheat as a gold hyper accumulator from tailing dumps, Water filtration which is the use of readily available material such as river sand and coal in the treatment of water, Cigarette bud cleanser which is the extraction and use of chitosan from cigarette buds to purify water and Phospho-acidulation which is the use of lemon peels in producing a fertilizer.