Amateur gold prospectors Russell Sanderson and Steve Glasson, are knockabout blokes from the bush and best mates who've searched for gold for 30 years.
Now they never have to work again. "I wouldn't say millionaires but we've found a few dollars worth", Russell said.
More like a few hundred thousands dollars worth, discovered in Victoria's golden triangle -- between Horsham, Bendigo, Maryborough and Ballarat. It's an area the pair had scoured previously, but their old metal detector finding nothing.
Three years later and with a $6,000 detector capable of zeroing in on gold a metre underground, they hit the jackpot. "We just thought we had a small patch and they just kept coming out -- nuggets just kept coming out", Steve said.
Exactly where this rich vein of luck is located, Steve and Russell aren't saying.
Ballarat gold dealer Cordell Kent sold a locally found 20 ounce nugget for $30,000. "We knew where the gold was found, in the past technology wouldn't let us hear it. We went back with the new detectors and all of a sudden, the goldfields are brand new and we've been hauling up heaps of it
--its wonderful", Cordell said.
In recent times a three and half kilo nugget found around the area fetched $100,000, but that was nothing though compared to the 27 kilo 'Hand of Faith' nugget which made golden triangle prospector Kevin Hillier a millionaire in 1980. "It still sends chills up my back just thinking about digging that nugget out because it took 2 hours to dig it out", Kevin said.
"Hand of Faith is still the biggest, the largest, gold nugget found with a hand held metal detector. But there has been many, many nuggets found over 400 ounces. 400 ounce, 300 ounce, 100 ounce nuggets are quite frequently found throughout the region. Its over 400 million years old and its unlike any other that you find in the world", Cordell said.
Its also 98% pure. After eight years, keen prospector Cordell had enough to open his gold shop. "There are so many families today that enjoy a good lifestyle because of gold. Gold to them gives them a holiday away, gives them Christmas presents, gives them a vehicle � there's that many vehicles and houses that have been bought with current day gold that its amazing, and most of them are keeping it secret and private" Cordell said.
But there'll be no new houses or fast cars for Russell and Steve. Both say their find won't change their lives.
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