Prospectors in WA’s Goldfields have dug up a big gold nugget weighing in at just over half a kilo from an area long abandoned to mining.
The nugget measuring 10 centimetres across and weighing in at 21 ounces – 670.3 grams – was discovered at Magnetic Resource’s Mertondale tenement between Leonora and Laverton in the Goldfields.
The tenement covers an area of land on a pastoral lease that once held a gold mine early last century, and Magnetic has been exploring the remote Goldfields tenement looking for viable gold reserves to exploit.
The second largest nugget ever found in the world is the Normandy Nugget dug up by Newmont Mining in a dry creek bed near Kalgoorlie in the Goldfields in 1995.
That monster nugget, currently on display at the Perth Mint, weighs in at 25.5 kilograms – close to 900 ounces – dwarfing Magnetic’s half kilo find.
But the junior miner has also revealed a grab bag of smaller nuggets alongside its larger find totalling more than fifty ounces, including a ten ounce example.
They were all dug up by prospectors at shallow depths using handheld metal detectors.
With gold fetching just over $1600 Australian dollars an ounce, digging up the precious metal can be a big moneyspinner, although the recent push against a gold tax in WA revealed the often tight margins miners deal with to play the game.
Miners like Magnetic need to show investors and the share market that their project areas are financially viable with decent reserves of gold, and finds like the nuggets can be used to indicate that they are looking at rich ground.
Magnetic Resources managing director George Sakalidis said the company is now conducting soil sampling and drilling to further confirm gold at the project site, while also striking sharing agreements with local prospectors who are finding the nuggets.
“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.
“We have acted quickly to ensure Magnetic benefits from any nuggets recovered by signing a tribute agreement with the local pastoralist.”