Some plants can suck up and store heavy metals. They can help clean up contaminated soil and extract valuable metals from the ground by a process of phytomining – all without a pickaxe or shovel. Our demand for metals is almost as great as our demand for oil. In fact, some projections suggest that with the advent of electric cars, our need for metals will surpass that of oil. The problem is metals are very valuable and not always easy to extract.