In Australia, a gold nugget weighing 729 troy ounces (22 kilograms) has been found by prospectors using a metal detector.
SV Gold nugget displayed on table
SV Photographers taking pictures of nugget (2 shots)
CU Victoria Premier Dick Hamer displaying nugget
CU Photographer taking picture
SV Mr Hamer holding nugget (5 shots)
CU Mr Hamer speaking at 36 ft as PAN OVER Nugget (3 shots)
GV & SV Amateur prospectors with metal detectors covering gold-producing area
O'NEIL: "The nugget weighs 720 gold ounces, which is more than thirty-one kilograms (as heard) or about the same weight as a ten-year old boy. It was discovered standing upright, only a few centimetres below the surface, near the northern town of Wedderburn. But its anonymous finders aren't saying exactly where. The nugget, named the "hand of Fate", is not only the biggest to be discovered in the recent spate of finds of fossickers with metal detectors, its the largest for more than a century. But it's still less than half the size of the biggest nugget over found -- the "Welcome Stranger". It was dug up in 1858 in Bendigo, not far from Wedderburn. The "Hand of Fate" is up for sale with a price of one million dollars. It will also be used in promotions for Victorian tourism. But the state's Premier, Mr Hamer, doubts that the "Hand of Fate" will stay in one piece."
HAMER: "Well, I think that depends who buys it. A lot of people would like to buy it just for its value in one piece and it seems to fetch more money that way. But on the other hand, most nuggets in the past have eventually been melted down. We'll record it. We'll have plenty of replicas of it. But what its real future is I can't tell you at this minute."
O'NEIL: "There's no chance of the state government buying it?"
HAMER: "Well we haven't got a spare million dollars lying idle. But we'll consider what we can do about it in the future."
O'NEIL: "The rust to Wedderburn is on. The North Central Tourist Authority has put on extra staff tonight to cope with the flood of queries about how to get to the state's gold bearing areas and just what the amateur fossicker needs to do the join in the mini gold boom."
REPORTER: HELEN O'NEIL
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Australia, a gold nugget weighing 729 troy ounces (22 kilograms) has been found by prospectors using a metal detector. The nugget was found just six inches (fifteen centimetres) below the ground at Wedderburn in North-West Victoria. The nugget has been valued at over one million dollars. The ABC's Helen O'Neil reports: