Miner unearths the biggest gold nugget ever found on Earth
In our technologically advanced world, the days of finding treasure appear to be long gone. Swashbuckling pirates sailing the seven seas singing "yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum" are no more, and, quite frankly, it's easy to dupe yourself into believing that everything worth discovering has been found (with the exception, arguably, of Atlantis) but that's far from the case.
Case in point, one miner in Australia recently made the discovery of a lifetime when he found the biggest gold nugget in recorded history. It weighed a staggering 198 lbs and was found at the Beta Hunt mine near Kambalda in Western Australia. To put how heavy it was into context, it took three men to move and it's believed that 143 lbs of its 198 lbs are solid gold.
The lucky miner who found the nugget was Henry Dole, pictured below. He's far from a novice to the gold mining industry, and with 16 years of experience behind him, he said that he'd seen "nothing like this" in his entire career.
"As I was drilling it, you could see the gold shavings coming out of all the holes and I thought 'there's something here'," he said. "And then after we fired it and I came in the next day and washed it all down, it was just everywhere."
To see Dole recount his incredible discovery for yourself, check out the video below:
After finding the monster nugget, Dole knew that it really was his lucky day when he found a slightly less impressive - but still whopping - second nugget that weighed in at around 132 lbs, the Daily Star reported.
Prior to this, the largest gold nugget ever found had a net weight of 192 lbs. Known as the Welcome Stranger nugget, it was also found in Australia - so if you're on the hunt for some gold in 'dem 'dere hills, you know where to go.
The incredible haul was unearthed around 500 meters underground for RNC minerals.
So what exactly is it worth? I hear you ask.
Well, the 198 lb nugget has been valued at around $2.6 million and the 132 lb nugget has been valued at around $1.95 million.
The firm's chief executive, Mark Selby, described the finds as a "once-in-a-lifetime" moment.
Selby also added that it suggested that Beta Hunt could be "a very large gold mine".
Senior geologist, Zaf Thanos, said of the huge find: "You might go your whole life and you'll never see anything like it."
Naturally, the nuggets are now being kept under lock and key and armed guards have been hired to protect them.
And because the news has made headlines around the world, security had the mine has understandably been increased.
However, what makes this find even more remarkable is the fact that in July of this year, gold mining experts claimed that the world's gold supplies had almost been depleted and that we were very close to hitting "peak gold" - AKA the point at which the number of gold discoveries start to decline because there are no new resources left to discover.
Ian Telfer, chairman of Goldcorp, told the Financial Post in June: "If I could give one sentence about the gold mining business… it's that in my life, gold produced from mines has gone up pretty steadily for 40 years."
"Well, either this year it starts to go down, or next year it starts to go down, or it's already going down… We're right at peak gold here."
Telfer's statement is reflected in Goldcorp's rate of production. In 2015, it produced 2.1 million lbs of gold, 1.75 million in 2016 and 1.6 million last year.
He said that this lack of gold is reflected in its current prices.
"Are we not looking for it? Are we bad at finding it? Or have we found it all? My answer is we found it all. At US$1,300 (per ounce of) gold, we found it all," he added.
"I don't think there are any more mines out there, or nothing significant. And the exploration records indicate that."
Well, while we might be on the verge of hitting "peak gold", but if Dole's discovery is anything to go by, there's still some bountiful mines remaining and Beta Hunt could very well be one of them! I just hope Dole's boss gives him a bonus for making such an extraordinary find...