Below is a puzzle I made for a university puzzle hunt. The answer is one word.
Identifying the countries:
Costa Rica -> Bahrain -> Russia -> Malta -> Nicaragua
Canada -> Bosnia -> Laos -> Seychelles -> Canada
Armenia -> Colombia -> Australia -> Malta -> Central African Republic
Latvia -> Norway -> Liberia
Singapore -> Costa Rica -> Turks and Caicos -> Singapore
From the starting text,
"Australia is gold, Korea is noble" clues us that we want the ISO alpha-2 codes for the countries -- so Australia would be Au, which is gold, and Korea would be Kr, which is krypton.
Partial: (I have to go now, here is as far as I got, but someone else can continue...)
The first two letters of each country
represents an chemical compound or element (e.g. AUstralia - Au = gold)
The countries are
COsta Rica -> POland -> RUssia -> MAlta -> NIcaragua
CAnada -> BOsnia -> ? -> SEychelles -> CAnada
? -> (C?)Olumbia -> Australia -> MAlta -> Central African Republic
LAtvia -> NOrway -> ... ...
So the elements/compounds are
Cobalt -> Polonium -> Ruthenium -> Masurium -> Nickel
Calcium -> Boron -> ? -> Selenium -> Calcium
? -> Cobalt/Carbon -> Gold -> Masurium -> ?
Lanthanum -> Nobelium -> ... ...
The next step is to
Map this on the periodic table but I don't have time so I shall allow some other puzzler to finish this off...