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article imageAmateur Australian prospector finds huge gold nugget

By Anne Sewell     Jan 17, 2013 in World
Ballarat - An amateur prospector in Victoria State, Australia has unearthed a gold nugget weighing 5.5kg (177 ounces), estimated at more than A$300,000 ($315,000: £197,000), using a handheld metal detector.
The unidentified man found the nugget on Wednesday, lying around 60cm underground within 30 kilometers of the town of Ballarat.
The amateur prospector reportedly said it sounded like the bonnet of a car through the head phones.
The nugget was lying flat (broad side up) and he carefully dug it up.
The video above shows the gold nugget before it was cleaned. In size is it approximately 220mm long, 140mm wide and has a maximum depth of 45mm.
The prospector said he heard the signal and kicked off about 100mm (4 inches) of leaf mulch from the surface, which means he and his detector heard it at an incredible depth from the search coil (the disc that is at the end of the hand held detector).
According to local gold experts, gold has been prospected in the area for decades. However, they say not discovery quite like this has been made before.
Cordell Kent, owner of Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop said, "I have been a prospector and dealer for two decades, and cannot remember the last time a nugget over 100 ounces (2.8kg) has been found locally."
"It's extremely significant as a mineral specimen. We are 162 years into a gold rush and Ballarat is still producing nuggets - it's unheard of," he added.
According to Kent, the prospector used high quality equipment and the man had only made small finds before, but was a "person that really deserved it".
Gold nugget found by an amateur prospector in Victoria  Australia.
Gold nugget found by an amateur prospector in Victoria, Australia.
Kent told the Ballarat Courier, "A finding like this gives people hope. It's my dream to find something like that, and I've been prospecting for more than two decades."
"I've got no doubt there will be a lot of people who will be very enthusiastic about the goldfields again, it gives people hope. "There's nothing like digging up money, it's good fun."
It is expected that the nugget will be sold to a collector or possibly a museum.
in case anyone wants to try their luck, on the YouTube page, the equipment used by the prospector is described as follows:
"The nugget was found with a Minelab GPX5000 super metal detector, with an Advantage Plus 'Sadie' mono eliptical coil, and a Rooster Booster audio enhancer (used with an external speaker)."
More about Australia, Ballarat, Victoria, prospector, Metal detector
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