A string of gold nuggets, weighing up to 21 ounces or 670 grams, have been recovered from Mertondale in the goldfields of Western Australia.
The area between Leonora and Laverton is on pastoral land next to a long abandoned mining area.
Over the last few months, prospectors using metal detectors have uncovered more than 50 ounces of large gold nuggets within an area being prospected by mining company Magnetic Resources.
The nuggets are considered very large with the latest measuring 10cm long by 5cm.
They were found just below the soil surface.
Gold is trading at $US1,277 an ounce this morning, valuing just the 50 ounces found so far at $US63,850 ($A82,700).
That’s the gold value alone. The nuggets themselves can be worth far more to collectors or as pieces in bespoke jewellery.
Here are some of the nuggets found:
“We are very impressed by the size of these nuggets, 10oz and 21oz, which appear to have come from an underlying bedrock source near existing aeromagnetic targets in an emerging gold province,” says George Sakalidis, the Magnetic Resources managing director.
“We have acted quickly to ensure Magnetic benefits from any nuggets recovered by signing a tribute agreement with the local pastoralist (Matt Taylor).”
The deal with the local pastoralist allows Magnetic to take a 500 tonne sample. From that, Magnetic will get 15% of the gross sale value of all minerals including gold. Taylor will be responsible for the rehabilitation of the land.
The company is now drilling a series of test holes in and around the nugget patch, looking for the primary source of the gold.
“We already have seven kilometres of prospective multi element targets at Mertondale and Christmas Well and are completing infill work there and preparing to start some shallow drill testing here as well,” Sakalidis says.
Magnetic’s shares price has jumped to 32 cents from 25 cents following the news of the find.
The biggest nugget in Australia weighed in at 72kg and was found in 1869 in Victoria.
Moe recently, the Normandy Nugget, weighing 25.5kg, was found near Kalgoorlie in 1995.
Here are some more nuggets from the latest find: