Man strikes gold with 5.5kg nugget

Sylvia Varnham O'Regan, ninemsn
4:03pm January 17, 2013
January 17, 2013: The earth in Ballarat yesterday rewarded one lucky prospector with a huge gold nugget weighing five-and-half kilograms.

A central Victorian man has had the find of a lifetime, unearthing a 5.5kg nugget of gold using only a metal detector.

The Ballarat man, who wished to remain anonymous, discovered the nugget yesterday at a depth of 60cm and posted footage of it on YouTube.

Owner of Ballarat's Mining Exchange Gold Shop Cordell Kent said the prospector was a "really deserving guy" who spent a large amount of money on the high quality metal detector, in the hope of finding gold to pay off his house.

Kent said the discovery of such a large nugget was extremely rare.

"I've been a prospector for more than two decades and I've never found anything like it," he said.

While it is yet to be determined what portion of the nugget is pure gold, with the price of gold at $1600 an ounce, the 5.5 kilogram (177 troy ounces) nugget is likely to fetch top dollar.

If the total mass of gold is pure, it could be worth upwards of $280,000.

Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria Ballarat branch president Malcolm Matthews said that nuggets found in the Ballarat region were typically of very high quality in terms of gold purity.

An international expert in gold prospecting, Cordell Kent was confident of the gold's authenticity and said scientific testing of the nugget would undoubtedly support this.

Sources: Cordell Kent and Malcolm Matthews

Author: Sylvia Varnham O'Regan, Approving editor: Nick Pearson

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