18 Jan 2013

5.5kg gold nugget found

5:43 am on 18 January 2013

An amateur prospector in Victoria, Australia, has found a gold nugget weighing 5.5kg.

Using a handheld metal detector, he found the nugget on Wednesday, 60cm underground near the town of Ballarat. Its value is estimated at more than $A300,000.

The BBC reports gold currently trades in Australia at about $A1600 per ounce, but the weight of the nugget could add a premium.

"We are 162 years into a gold rush and Ballarat is still producing nuggets - it's unheard of," said Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop owner Cordell Kent.

He said the prospector had been using a state-of-the-art metal detector, which meant he was able to find the gold relatively deep underground in an area which has been searched many times in the past.