While it's not likely to start a gold rush like the one in California in 1849 or the Yukon fifty years later, prospectors are getting ready to 'mine' the sewers of Brussels.
Perhaps someday it will draw tourist 'nugget hunters,' but for now, the miners are researchers from two local universities interested in finding whether there's a green and practical way to recover precious metals from sewage treatment sludge. The goal is not only to recover precious resources, but to keep the metals from contaminating water resources. All that glitters is not gold, as they say, and the targets also include heavy metals such as copper, zinc and lead.
But the gold and silver make the headlines, and project coordinator Dr Natacha Brion, told press that “If we look at the amount of sludge in the whole Region, we can expect to find about 5 kg of gold and 70 kg of silver yearly,”