Australian mine yields golden mother lode
- Published: Sep 12, 2018, 6 AM
Large chunks of gold-encrusted quartz mined from Western Australia are headed to the collector market through auctions, according to Mark Selby, president of Canadian-based RNC Minerals. The business owns a mine where gold worth roughly $11,407,277 in U.S. dollars was removed from the ground in just four days.
Nearly 400 miles east of Perth, capital of Western Australia, miners near Kambalda at RNC’s Beta Hunt mine are pulling gold-encrusted chunks of quartz out of the ground as fast as humanly possible.
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Officials from RNC Minerals report that more than 9,000 ounces of gold worth an estimated $15 million in Canadian dollars, more than 11.4 million in U.S. dollars, was brought to the surface over a recent four-day period.
The largest chunk, weighing nearly 200 pounds, required three miners to lift it for placement on a transport vehicle to bring it out of the mine. The quartz chunk is encrusted in an estimated 2,300 ounces of gold worth an estimated $3.8 million Canadian ($2,889,843 in U.S. dollars).
Another chunk, weighing 132 pounds, is estimated to contain 1,600 ounces of gold, valued at approximately $2.6 million Canadian, or $1,977,261 in U.S. dollars.
However, the chunks may bring prices well above their precious metals value. Selby believes collectors are willing to pay up to 50 percent over the price of just the gold to acquire the metal in its natural formation.
Kambalda miner Henry Dole is credited with unearthing the “mother lode” of high purity gold after drilling holes and detonating explosives that exposed the gold vein.
Security has been beefed up at the mine and any gold removed is being stored in secure vaults.
According to RNC officials, gold is a secondary metal for the mine at Beta Hunt, better known for producing nickel, a key ingredient in making stainless steel.
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