Huge gold-encrusted rocks uncovered in Australia
‘You might go your whole life and you'll never see anything like it’, says mining expert
Miners in Western Australia believe they have discovered two huge gold-encrusted rocks that are each estimated to be worth millions of pounds.
One of the rock formations was found to contain more than 2,400 ounces of gold, according to the Canadian miner RNC Minerals.
The company said it had extracted gold worth about £9m from a mine near the town of Kalgoorlie last week.
One mining engineer described the finds as “exceedingly rare”.
“People do still record finding nuggets in the goldfields, but typically they are less than several ounces,” Prof Sam Spearing, director of the Western Australia School of Mines at Curtin University told the BBC.
“Very, very seldom do we see results on that level. This is an exceedingly rare find and very exciting,” he added.
Speaking with Australia’s ABC News, geologist Zaf Thanos heralded the discovery as remarkable, telling the news organisation that most gold discoveries in mines across the world are only visible under a magnifying glass.
“You might go your whole life and you'll never see anything like it. It's definitely a once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” he said.
The miner credited with the discovery, Henry Dole, said he “nearly fell over” looking at what he described as the “mother lode,” ABC reports.
The Beta Hunt mine had primarily been running as a nickel operation until last week's discovery. The company had targeted the area where the gold was found, located 500m (1,600ft) underground, after finding traces of gold closer to the surface in June.
RNC Minerals chief executive Mark Selby said the largest rocks would go to auction as collector items.
“Given the rarity of the rock, and the physical beauty and presentation of the gold that's there, it's a very spectacular stone in multiple ways so we'll see whether 20, 30 or even 50 per cent premiums apply here," he said.
"We're really looking forward to auctioning the key stones off over the coming weeks.”