With gold prices soaring and the supply of the precious metal struggling to keep up with burgeoning demand, a US mine specialist is seeking an innovative way to yield gold.
Montana resident John Reid, owner of Precious Metals Recovery, has requested permission to access the state's Steward mineshaft in a bid to glean precious metals from massive volumes of the mine's water.
The ambitious entrepreneur hopes to extract gold, silver and other metals from a flow of up to 20 gallons of water per minute the necessary volume in order to produce enough gold to make it a profitable venture.
Mr Reid hopes to rig up a remotely-monitored automated system in the mine shafts, with which he would pump, dry and smelter the sludge-filled water from the mine.
Hoping to extract 90-95 per cent of dissolved gold through the method, he told local newspaper the Montana Standard: "In that respect I'm cleaning up the water."
Gold demand is buoyed to consistently high levels by market investment in bullion on one hand, and commercial and industrial demand for metal on the other with uses ranging from the production of gold jewelry to the manufacture of dentistry items.