All grey nomads who travel with a sieve with a metal detector will take heart from the news that a Victorian prospector has just unearthed a 2.7 kilogram gold nugget.
The nugget has been valued at about $135,000 but Mick Brown from Kerang, south of Swan Hill, hopes a private collector will offer more.
“Sometimes they do say gold is worth twice its weight in gold if it’s a really nice looking nugget,” he said. “And my nugget is quite attractive and has good grooves and moves.”
He told the Bendigo Advertiser that he was getting grumpy while trying to give up smoking so his wife told him to leave the house for some fresh air and he went out prospecting near Wedderburn.
When his detector went off loudly when he moved it across a particular spot, he quickly found the nugget just six inches beneath the surface although he initially thought it was a “big molten blob of copper”.
“I thought bugger me, it is, it’s bloody gold,” Mr Brown told the Advertiser. “I just dug it up, 87 ounces of the good stuff.”
He has named his big find the “fair dinkum nugget” because when people feel its weight they say “fair dinkum this is huge”.
Mr Brown hopes his good fortune will encourage other prospectors to keep at it and inspire others to try prospecting.
“If you put some theory into it, get some books, look at maps, which way and side of the hill it falls, you’re upping your chances of finding it,” he told the Advertiser. “It’s a hobby, not just a hobby, it’s a skill to read the ground, to distinguish targets and to listen.”
In 2013 another prospector uncovered an 177 ounce gold nugget near Ballarat.
Mr Brown moved to Kerang from the Pilbara in Western Australia where he was also a keen prospector.
And, despite his good fortune, Mr Brown is not about to retire his metal detector quite yet.
“There’s some big ten kilo jobs out there,” he said.