A photograph of a large gold nugget allegedly found near Kalgoorlio-Boulder is stirring Australia's gold mining community. However, because of the lack of ownership and unknown origin of the photograph, there are doubts that the gold find is just a hoax.
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The doubt is due to sketchy details from its weight, which ranges from seven to 60 kilogrammes, to how it was discovered. One account said the nugget was uncovered by a bulldozer, another said someone kicked some dirt and literally hit gold.
The discovery was allegedly made near Cashmans Prospect, east of Ora Banda, during an illegal prospecting operation.
The object is boomerang shaped. Some posts on prospecting forum opine that it is just poured lead covered in gold paint.
The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum said it is unaware of the recent discovery of the gold nugget through illegal prospecting.
"We take illegal prospecting very seriously, with the maximum penalty for unauthorised mining recently increasing from $100,000 to $300,000 per offence, and if it continues, $30,000 every day or part day," The Australian quoted Ivor Roberts, executive director for mineral titles at the department.
Reports said the nugget is valued at $1.6 million.
According to the World Gold Council's third quarter review, by the end of September 2012, gold was up 16 per cent year-to-date. Two-thirds of the gains took place during Q3. The yellow metal's average price in Q3 was $1,652 per ounce.
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