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Gold Nugget Worth $250,000 Sparks Gold Rush in Australia

Gold in quartz
Gold in quartz. An Australian man discovered 4.6kg of Gold Nugget worth $250000 in Victoria. Credit: James St. John / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Using an amateur metal detector, an Australian man discovered a large gold nugget in Victoria’s goldfields in March last year.

The nugget is nearly 250,000 AUD ($160,000) in value and weighs 4.6kg. The discovery was made in the “golden triangle” area between Bendigo, Ballarat, and St. Arnaud.

After finding the nugget, the man took it to a prospecting store in Geelong. He asked the store owner if he thought it was worth 10,000 AUD ($6,675). However, when the owner held the nugget, he immediately knew it was worth much more.

He estimated it to be worth around 100,000 AUD. The prospector then revealed that he had only brought half of the nugget with him and that the other half was at his residence.

Gold nugget named “Lucky Strike.”

The prospecting store owner valued the complete gold nugget at 240,000 AUD due to the current high gold prices. The nugget contains 83 ounces of gold, making it a very rare find in today’s terms.

The prospector was “incredibly” lucky, given that he used a low-cost detector worth only 1,200 AUD ($800). The store owner said that if the nugget had been any deeper than 12 inches underground, only a more expensive machine would have detected it.

He then purchased the nugget from the prospector and named it “Lucky Strike.” He also confirmed that the gold was interconnected throughout the rock with a multimeter test.

This discovery was particularly noteworthy because it was made with a relatively inexpensive metal detector and in an area that had been extensively prospected over the years.

The news generated widespread media attention, reigniting public interest in gold prospecting and drawing more people to try their luck, especially beginners. This translated to increased sales of prospecting equipment and permits in specific regions.

Prediction of 75m ounces of undiscovered gold

Undiscovered gold weighing up to 75 million ounces could be hiding across central and north-central Victorian goldfields, according to the Geological Survey of Victoria. This is compared to the 80 million ounces that have been mined from the area since the gold rush days.

The president of the Bendigo branch of the Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria, Lynnie Hindle, noted that discovering a big nugget often sparks a new gold rush.

She added that gold prospecting has gained popularity, with 50,000 people currently holding a miner’s right in Victoria. Without this license, any gold found belongs to the crown, so it’s essential to obtain one. The license costs 25.50 AUD and is valid for ten years.

Ian Holland, who has 40 years of experience in professional gold mining and is the president of the Ballarat branch of the association, said that not much gold is being found, but more people are searching for it than ever before.

He added that he used to see one car per week when driving around looking for gold, but now he sees five cars a day. The increase in gold prospectors has been significant.

Lucky Strike is not the largest nugget ever found in the country. The title belongs to “the Welcome Stranger,” which was discovered in 1869 near Moliagul, Victoria. The nugget yielded 2,300 ounces of gold.

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