An amateur prospector in Western Australia has discovered a 49-ounce (1.4-kilogram) gold nugget valued at nearly $100,000.
The anonymous man allegedly discovered the palm-sized nugget using a metal detector while wandering around saltbush flats in the Goldfields region, according to media interviews with Finders Keepers Gold Prospecting owner Matt Cook.
Finders Keepers shared images of the nugget on its Facebook page, referring to it as a “monster.”
“He walked into my shop and showed me the nugget in his hand with a big smile on [his] face,” Cook told the BBC.
“It just a bit bigger than a packet of smokes, and the density of it was incredible, so heavy.”
Amateur gold finds of such size are rare. In November 2017, a Queenslander discovered a 41.2-ounce nugget beneath the brush outside Townsville, and in August 2016 a prospector discovered a 145-ounce nugget in Victoria’s Golden Triangle.
The largest gold nugget ever discovered, dubbed the “Welcome Stranger”, was a 2540-ounce (72 kilogram) specimen found by two English miners in Victoria in 1869.
Among mining companies, Canadian producer Royal Nickel Corporation (RNC)’s find at the Beta Hunt mine near Kambalda, WA in October 2018 represents one of the highest profile gold discoveries in recent years.
RNC has made headlines after discovering two gold-bearing ore specimens containing over 4000 ounces of combined gold worth an estimated $6.8 million.
The company’s lucky streak continued when it discovered a third slab from Beta Hunt the following week containing around 1000 ounces of gold.