8
   

Giant Gold Nugget found in Australia

 
 
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 10:40 am
Ok, so apparently this guy finds a big hunk of gold with a metal detector. Normally gold is found in mines, but this one was apparently just laying around.

Also, it looks like it's been melted and pitted like a metal meteorite or something.

So where did this thing originate from? How did it get where it was?

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/18/business/australia-gold-nugget-discovery/?hpt=hp_c5
 
View best answer, chosen by rosborne979
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 10:55 am
@rosborne979,
Could it be possibly a gold meteorite?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:04 am
It is not necessarily true that gold is only found in "mines." When the California gold rush was on in 1849, many Australians went there to try their luck. One of them noted that gold was often found in clay formations, and using high powered hoses, those formations were washed away, yielding their gold content. On returning to Australia, he noticed similar clay formations in New South Wales. Soon enough, similar clay formations were noted in the state of Victoria, near Ballarat (see your news story) and people rushed in to make land claims, and then dig up the clay in their claim and wash it to find gold. That's why Australians are sometimes called diggers.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:07 am
This is from Wikipedia, and was found in the "mines" near Ballarat:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/Gold-271347.jpg
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:09 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

Could it be possibly a gold meteorite?

There are a couple of dormant volcanoes in the area.... I'd say it's more likely to have been ejected from one of those in the distant past.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:11 am
@DrewDad,
I didn't know about the volcanoes. That would have been my second guess.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:12 am
@tsarstepan,
Farmerman may be along at some point to educate us.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:24 am
@DrewDad,
I was figuring out how much its worth. Its about 330,000$ US at a yesterday rate of 1700$/oz. .

Gold occurs in serpentinite and in quartz 'feldpars called "Pegmatites". The Calif gold rush started as a complete accident . The clay that Set mentioned was a center of a serpentinite belt that is unique to Calif, SC, Va, Md, Pa and NY. Most of these areas have had minor "gold rushes" in thepst but the really big claims , like the Nevadan, Mexican, Brazilian, South African, Phillipine and , the High Sierran, the Canadian SHield, are all Quartz fold belts.
Ill bet that the nugget this dude found was from a serpentinite. The one that Set posted was all gnarly and the Oz one was smooth. The gnarly ones are gotten out by soaking in aqua regia and Hydroflouric acid (Quartz dissolves in HF. So the gold that remains is actually the little cubby hioles of the metal in veinlets and cracks that get filled with gold in superheted water.

VERA cool. Its got a bigger value on the collectos market (There are a few big rock collectors out there that pay millions for one specimen of so,ething very rare or beautiful)
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:29 am
The Australian gold rush was in 1851, just two years after the California gold rush. Not long after the finds in Victoria, the state government of Western Australia offered a huge prize to anyone who found gold there, and sure enough, in less than a year gold-bearing clay formations were found there. In just a few years, the population of Australia tripled, from just under a half million to almost one and three quarters million. Go Diggers ! ! !
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:30 am
@farmerman,
HA, I saw the guy was using a 7000$ Minelb GPX 5000. He got relly screwed on that price. We got one for 4K last year. IF youre serious yu should use an EM quadrature electromag unit an overscan the "metal detector" . A metal detector is limited to a shallow depth while an EM, or ground Penetrating Radar or Magnetometer will shoot for miles and anything of a dense Emag return would be picked up

Ill bet some other better acoutered diggers 'l be right on his ass to see whats below.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:33 am
@farmerman,
But he should be able to afford some better equipment, now.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:34 am
@DrewDad,
Since his income puts him in the next income bracket, Id start expensing everything, even lunch
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 11:53 am
He may also have lied about where he found it (or at least been misleading).

I just thought the nugget looked very "meteorite-like", and wondered if it might have been a meteorite, or possibly spewed out by a volcano somewhere.

The implication from the story was that he just kind of found it buried a bit under the dirt. Not embedded in any rock or anything. Seemed an odd place to find a gold nugget.
farmerman
  Selected Answer
 
  5  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 02:47 pm
@rosborne979,
lots of gold is found as "placer" deposits in glacial moraines or in stream deposits. Much gold mining has been placer washing and today most hobbyists will try to "mine " these deposits. We have several gold deposits in eastern Pa. You have lots of em in New Hmpster and Maine. A metal detector is a good piece of stuff to own or borrow.

Heres a carbonaceous chondrite with gold in its core. There are meteorites that contain these "Chondrules" or little glops of gold surrounded by the matrix minerals that were agglomerated while shooting around in space. (They supposedly smack into other rock bodies and pick up space junk.

I dont think that a solid gold meteorite would come in the atmosphere and be left in a chunk. Gold melts at about the same temps as quartz

CHECK THIS OUT, yes its gold in a meteorite.

     http://www.meteorite-times.com/Back_Links/2006/May/imilac-6494-cp.jpg






Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 02:58 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
We have several gold deposits in eastern Pa. You have lots of em in New Hmpster and Maine. A metal detector is a good piece of stuff to own or borrow.


So howcum you ain't rich? Me, I'm considering moving back to the Granite State where I lived for a number of years right in the woods and never found nuttin' except somebody else's empty beer cans.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 03:07 pm
@farmerman,
I read somewhere, glancingly, in the last week or so, that there is new activity in the california gold area - something about new processes going on.
farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 03:11 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I made my money on Titanium and rhodium, Nowadays, US gold hunting is full of stupid amateurs, bikers , drunks and folks with "Reality shows".
I once camped near a bunch of gold hunters near Spruce Pine NC. They heard I was a geologist and came up with questions like"Where can we find gold?"" I was thinking to myself, well, start by going to college for about 10 years and then work your ass off in the field for several more years. I was hunting for rhodium and lithium and it was near the same kinds of rocks where gold would be found. Nothin personal, it was only business, so I gave em some bad directions. I hope I never see those dudes again. (They had some boy scouts with em , so I sent em to where they filmed "Last of the Mohicans") I hope they had a nice trip
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 03:14 pm
@ossobuco,
lots of old mines that used high pressure hoses and screening missed as much as half the gold becaue it was in such tiny flakes. Now with the value of gold so high that you can profitably mine gold from rock at the concentrations of 0..2% per ton of crap rock its worth going after. I have a buddy from the school we both taught who made a nice littl fortune by buying up and processing old mine claims and all he did was rework the spoils piles.

Also we have several new ways to process ores and placers. I too heard from a friend out there that they are remining the areas around the old MAther AFB and Aerojets property near Sacramento.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 05:21 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Now with the value of gold so high that you can profitably mine gold from rock at the concentrations of 0..2% per ton of crap rock its worth going after.


I remember a 60 Minutes report a decade or so ago where in South America it was already profitable enough to mine for gold at such low concentrations, and that they used arsenic in the smelting process, and that they were seriously damaging the environment at those mines.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 06:44 pm
@InfraBlue,
Actually, it wasn't in South America at all, I remember now it took place in one of the western states of the US, Nevada, I believe.
0 Replies
 
 

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