Australian amateur prospector finds massive gold nugget

An amateur prospector in the Australian state of Victoria has astonished experts by unearthing a gold nugget weighing 5.5kg (177 ounces).

The unidentified man, using a handheld metal detector, found the nugget on Wednesday, lying 60cm underground near the town of Ballarat.

Its value has been estimated at more than A$300,000 ($315,000: £197,000).

Local gold experts say gold has been prospected in the area for decades, but no such discovery had been made before.

“I have been a prospector and dealer for two decades, and cannot remember the last time a nugget over 100 ounces (2.8kg) has been found locally,” said Cordell Kent, owner of the Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop.

“It’s extremely significant as a mineral specimen. We are 162 years into a gold rush and Ballarat is still producing nuggets – it’s unheard of.”

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