"IN GOLD we trust,” says the office door sign at John Parsons' Prophet Gold Mine at Kilkivan.
It is a statement of faith, of a commitment which led him and a band of Adelaide University researchers to challenge the scientific world and ultimately, win its recognition.
Yesterday, Mr Parsons had the chance to pass on his message of determination and belief to science students at Gympie's St Patrick's College.
He told of a crusade for a new gold industry approach, using highly detectable bacteria as an indicator to help find and concentrate microscopic gold.
Now suddenly finding himself at the "pointy end” of his field, Mr Parsons told of a Gympie region experiment to show that gold nuggets can be made to grow in the ground, "like potatoes, only slower.”
And he says bacteria could also be used to clean up tailings and turn an environmental problem into a resource.
Year Eight student Bridget Coyne summed up her reaction. "Something people thought was a myth turned out to be true, because of determination by people who believed in it and knew it would work.”
Mr Parsons could not have been more proud if he had won an Order of Australia.
"When you walk on the earth it is not just rocks - there is life everywhere,” he said.