“Mate, I Found a Good One”
Some folks have all the luck.
An anonymous amateur prospector in southern Australia
has unearthed a huge piece of gold, reportedly worth more
than $300,000. The man found the 177 troy ounce nugget
near Ballarat, Victoria.
The prospector passed the gold on to a mining exchange
in Ballarat, reportedly saying, ‘Mate, I found a good one.’
Such a large nugget such may be worth upwards of half a million dollars for individuals and museums desiring to add the unique and rare speciman to their collections.
“If you are silly enough to melt it down, it would be worth just under $300,000 on market value but as a nugget at this size and shape, it’s worth significantly more than that,” Kent said. “I can’t remember a nugget this big ever
being found locally.”
The exact location and the identity of the lucky prospector
remain secret, but Kent said the “very pure” nugget was
found within 18 miles of Ballarat.
The massive nug was found about 2 feet below the surface of the ground. The man was using a $6,000 state-of-the-art Minelab GPX5000 super metal detector with a small coil, which meant he was able to find the gold relatively deep underground in an area which had been searched many times in the past.
The prospector said it sounded like the hood of a car going off through his headphones. He noticed the ground wasn’t disturbed so the area hadn’t been previously searched before. The Y-shaped nugget was lying flat in the clay and gravel soil below, and when he carefully dug it up, was surprised to find a solid chunk of gold measuring 8.6 inches long , 5.5 inches wide, and having a maximum thickness of nearly 2 inches.
The man had only made small finds before, Kent said, but he was “a person that really deserved it. Up until yesterday the smallest nugget he had found was a small one, about a quarter of an ounce.”
Kent said the giant nugget is of national and historical significance and he hopes to sell it within Australia. Given its size, there would need to be special permission granted for it to be exported overseas. He also predicted there would be a fresh gold rush hit the Ballarat region.
“We’re so far into a gold rush and we have years and years and years of hope ahead of us. It’s unbelievable. I’ve got no doubt there will be a lot of people who will be very enthusiastic about the goldfields again,” the Ballarat Courier quoted him as saying.
The last reported gold nugget found in the Ballarat region was in July of last year. That nugget, named Destiny, weighed 117 troy ounces and was discovered in the Golden Triangle region of Ballarat, Bendigo and Stawell of Australia.
A short 23-second video clip of the massive nug can be seen here.