Gold miner “nearly fell over” uncovering a $10 million gold bonanza hailed as a “once-in-a-lifetime” discovery
Gold worth US$10 million has been discovered in Western Australia. Over four days, rock and gold specimens were dug out of the ground in what amounted to “a once-in-a-lifetime discovery”.
The finds consisted of quartz and gold, the largest unearthed weighed 95 kilos and was covered with 2,300 ounces of gold: giving it a value of AUS$ 3.8 million, or approximately US$2.7 million. The second largest specimen weighed 63kg, holding an estimated 1,600 ounces of gold.
“Recovering 9,250 ounces of high grade coarse gold from a single cut, including specimens which could rank among the largest ever discovered, underlines the importance of this discovery,” said Mark Selby, president and CEO of the mining firm which found the gold, RNC Minerals.
Geologist Zaf Thanos spoke to Australia’s ABC news network, saying that as most gold mined is only visible via magnification, this find was truly astonishing. “You might go your whole life and you’ll never see anything like it. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.”
The miner credited with the discovery Henry Dole, told ABC he “nearly fell over”, having hit the “motherlode”.
Professor Sam Spearing director of the Western Australia School of Mines at Curtin University, told the BBC that it is typical for miners to extract just 2g of gold for every tonne of rock mined. In this case the amount of gold extracted per tonne was 2,200g.
The gold was found at the Beta Hunt mining site, approximately 391 miles east of Perth in Western Australia. RNC Minerals labelled the find “bonanza grade”, saying geologists at the Beta Hunt Mine had identified a zone of chemical interaction between the gold bearing fluids and pyritic sulfides, which under the right conditions, allows large gold crystal growth and extremely high-grade gold deposition.
RNC Minerals added that having been in the process of considering a sale of the mine, such was the size of the gold find that “RNC is no longer in exclusive discussions with a preferred bidder for Beta Hunt,” and had “decided to consider all alternatives”.
The biggest gold nugget ever found, the Welcome Stranger, was discovered in Australia in 1869. Weighing 97kg it would have been worth £2.85 million today.