INTRODUCTION: Gold-rush fever has Thailand in its grip.
GV & SVs People in trench digging for gold (3 shots)
SVs & CU School-teacher discovering gold nugget and fellow prospectors examining it (3 shots)
GV Gold prospectors in mining area
SV, CU & GV PAN Prospectors looking for gold (4 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Gold-rush fever has Thailand in its grip. Since children looking for water buffalo picked up a hefty nugget recently in Krabin Buri province, 220 kilometres (137 miles) east of Bangkok... the rush has been on.
SYNOPSIS: Even in the fading late afternoon light, thousands of gold seekers were still busy in their muddy pits, hoping to see that yellow glint that means they may have 'struck it rich'.
Many have been successful, like this young school-teacher who temporarily left the classroom to go prospecting. The nugget he discovered has an estimated value around 15 hundred U.S. dollars. He said he found it on his own, so doesn't have to share his windfall. Up to six thousand villagers at a time are out, working in the fields, which they lease from local farmers who are also cashing in on the gold rush.
Most of the nuggets found have been small, but of considerable value.
Recently, the International Monetary Fund approved a two-year standby credit of nearly one billion U.S. dollars to Thailand, to help the government's economic programme. Perhaps these hopeful prospectors could be unearthing hidden wealth that it will not only provide them with all the things they dream of, but boost their country's economy too.