Retired Man Finds $80,000 Gold Nugget With His Metal Detector

Gold nugget
Illustrative image of a gold nugget. A retired man in Western Australia discovered a gold nugget worth $AU110,000 ($80,000) while prospecting. Getty

A retired man prospecting for gold in a remote part of Australia has struck it rich after he stumbled across a gold nugget worth $AU110,000 ($80,000).

He had been searching for treasure for years in the northern Goldfields, near Kambalda, in Western Australia, using his trusty metal detector.

But it was his lucky day when he managed to unearth a nugget weighing 3.23 kilograms (more than 7 pounds) and containing 68 troy ounces, or 2.11 kilograms (4.5 pounds) of gold. It has been dubbed "Duck's Foot" because of its shape.

The man, who did not want to be named, said: "When I had finished digging it out, I just thought 'Oh my God!' It was pretty deep at about 800 millimeters in clay soil so it took more than two hours of careful digging to get it out," he said, according to Australian Associated Press.

Rob Anderson, who owns the Prospectors Pick, a shop in nearby Bunbury that supplies prospectors, said that the man had been successful for a number of years.

"I think this find proves there's still a lot of gold still out there, even in areas you might think have been picked clean," Anderson said.

The site had seen rich pickings recently, with the Canadian gold mining company RNC Minerals discovering earlier this month some 9,250 ounces of gold (578 pounds) worth $AU15.9 million ($11.6 million) at the Beta Hunt mine nearby.

The gold-encrusted rocks were 1,500 feet below the surface in an area just 9 feet wide and 9 feet high, mining.com reported.

The largest rock weighed about 198 pounds and took three men to lift it onto the back of a pick-up truck. Covered in an estimated 2,300 ounces of gold, it was worth about $2.7 million.

Mark Selby, president and CEO of RNC Minerals said in a statement that it could rank among the largest ever discovered," adding that it "underlines the importance of this discovery."

The discovery has given a new lease on life to the town 600 miles east of Perth of fewer than 3,000 people, which has experienced job losses because of the closure of nickel mines in recent years.

Real estate agent Cheryl Davis told Australia's ABC News: "We've had a lot of doom and gloom, and it's nice to get some positive news and getting people to talk about the good things.

"Everyone's talking about how good this is for our town and that our town isn't going to die. We're looking on the up."