Last weekend the Western Australian gold prospectors assembled for their annual meeting at the pub in Ora Banda, a hamlet in the Western Australian outback. At the end of the meeting a nugget buyer from Perth, a guy named Andy Comas, made quite an interesting announcement: he recently acquired and sold a nugget weighing 23.26 kilogram, making it the world’s third largest gold nugget in existence (just after the Hand of Faith at 27.21 kg and the Normandy Nugget at 25.5 kg). When Andy showed a picture of the monster the bar went dead quiet. People just couldn’t take their eyes of it. This was of course what every prospector dreams of and keeps him going: the bloody big one!
The nugget had been found a couple of weeks ago with a metal detector somewhere in the goldfields around here. Through various tests it had been established that the thing has a 92% purity. With today’s gold price of around 40 US Dollars a gram, the gold value of this baby would be around 860.000 dollars. But of course, nuggets of that rarity go for two, three times the gold value.
Anyway, Andy said that the prospector who found it, and who wishes to remain anonymous, gave him a week to sell it. Andy sold it for an undisclosed sum within a couple of days to a buyer in the US. No Australian could come up with the money, somewhat surprising with all the filthy rich mining executives around here.
Most prospectors in the room expressed regret or even outrage that this nugget would leave the country – although no doubt they would have done the exact same thing: sell it to the highest bidder.
And they even might get their wish because the story doesn’t end here. The Australian government might declare the nugget a National Treasure – and I think they should – and then Andy wouldn’t be able to export it.
And remember: this hasn’t been reported on anywhere, you read it here first.
update: It seems like this nugget is not the third largest nugget in the world. Larger nuggets – even larger than the Hand of Faith – were found in the eighties in Brazil, and are kept in the museum of the Central Bank of Brazil. It seems the Pepita Canaã is the largest nugget in the world at 60.82 kg.
update 2: Picture of the frontpage of the Kalgoorlie Miner, annoucing the news below
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kickstart my heart!
A great BIG one. But the text says 40 US dollars. I believe gold is presently 1250 US dollars today!!! None the less a great find!!
Good point, that should read 40 USD a gram. The 1250 is an ounce.
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I hear it was found with Bugsys “QED” detector!!!!
Let me guess, the prospectors were the Mickelbergs?
Jeez I wish I could hold 23kgs with my left arm like the guy does in the photo! He’s not even flinching!
A slab of VB cans weighs a touch over 9kg. That’s 2.5 slabs he’s holding, on his left hand!
good to keep the dream alive
I think it’s kinda funny that all the aussies reacting here think there’s something fishy about that nugget. None of the prospectors, these are professionals, not the amateur metaldetector wielding kind, assembled at Ora Banda seemed to doubt the story. Anyway, reveals a bit about the people hanging around on all those gold related forums.
Just trying to correct a few misconceptions about the biggest nuggets still in existence in captivity in the world today
According to my calculations from my list of nuggets this new nugget is only the 7th largest nugget in existence in the world today (in captivity anyway)
No 1 is the 1688 oz Serra Pelada Canaa nugget held by the bank of Brazil
No. 2 is the 1163.98 oz troy – “The Great Triangle”, gold, 36.2 kg, (mined in 1842 in Miass) held by the Diamond fund in Russia
At No3 is the 928 ozs or 28.890Kg Gold Nugget held by the bank of Brazil. I don’t have a name for this nugget
No 4 is a 908 oz Gold Nugget held by the bank of Brazil. I also don’t have a name for this nugget
No 5 is the Hand of Faith
No 6 is the Norman by Nugget
No7 would be this new nugget
Interesting info. But would you have some info to back this up?
Someone has been cleanin up around here with some weird lookin detector, not the new ML!
a nugget of over 30killos has been photographed. from the mt monger area. last year a pensioner couple found 800oz 3 pieces purchased by alocal for reseach reason.
Again interesting, but…. if you want to dispute this is the third largest nugget, fine with me, but you have to come up with something more than you saying so. Pictures, eyewitness accounts, newspaper stories, etc, etc.
I believe this nugget is for real. The company that announced would be pretty stupid if they announced anything like this, at an APLA meeting no less, and couldn’t back it up. The nugget will be shown to the public in the Melbourne Museum.
It seems to me that most of you are desperate not to believe that somebody actually found a nugget of this size. But it does happen for real – not in all the bullshit stories you hear constantly.
The picture of the two guys holding 23 kgs of nugget is a fake – for starters. Secondly, the picture above it would stand scrutiny as it just doesn’t look right. This all sounds like BS to me and I’ve prospected for gold, photographed gold and sold gold all over the world from Western Australia for the last 30 years.
Okay, some ground rules. Just stating that the picture is a fake, or claiming that “it just doesn’t look right” is NOT convincing. If you have reason to believe the picture is doctored, and I know photo’s are doctored all the time, come up with EVIDENCE. Be CONVINCING! Show me obvious photoshopping errors, come up with rational arguments, make a case, etc, do not just say something because you cannot believe this is true. I am not going to allow any more comments that don’t adhere to these simple ground rules.
I agree that the picture is fake. The gap in the bottom of the nugget is at least 4 inches. It doesn’t show in the picture of the guys holding it. He couldn’t be covering it with his hand. Plus there is no way to hold a 59 pound nugget with one hand, and what are the chances that the nugget is in the same position in both pictures.
Regarding larger nuggets that have been found and not melted down the following information is posted for your information
The following link is to the Bank of Brazil site where there is a picture of the Canaa nugget
Brazil gold nugget link
you might have to translate it with Babelfish from the Portuguese
To find the “Big Triangle” or “Great Triangle” do a Babelfish translation and search the Russian sites for this nugget. Translate from the Russian and although the translations are fairly crude it will give you the information you require.
There are 6 Brazilian nuggets that are heavier than the listed nugget that weigh more than the 23.26 kilogram Australian nugget. I don’t have information on whether they all still exist or not as I have found only photos of the three heaviest. There used to be a web page showing photos of the three heaviest but it has disappeared.
good luck searching
As to the quote about it being the ‘3rd largest in the world’, maybe look at the article written in the Kalgoorlie Miner this past weekend, as the writer says rather that it is the 3rd largest found with a metal detector. I am not completey sure either way.
As to the fake accusation, I can understand anyone’s reluctance. It is, quite simply huge. But I was there the day of the photos (I took the one with Andy and Rob), and can swear to it’s authenticity. I’ve touched it myself, and it is a fantastic combination of smooth lumps and strange indentations, really unique.
I love that there is so much comment from all over the world about this truly amazing find, regardless!
@ Steve: thanks for that info, I’ll definitely look into that. Maybe we’re a bit too focused on the English-speaking world as far as nuggets are concerned. The question of course is, are those nuggets still in existence.
@ J.Lynn: thanks so much for responding!!
I go with J.Lynn’s statements as to its true weight and the authenticity of the picture.
Jeroen Try the following link
this comes from a new book on the minerals of Brazil
Why hasn’t Rob put a picture up on his webpage????
Steve, Good point. Rob is at this minute at a Mineral Traders conference in Denver. But I shall see what we can do to post some other photos online, possibly on wikipedia. I will post the link as soon as it they are uploaded.
To all the conspiracy theorists, I can now see how it looks like the nugget is being held primarily by Andy’s left had, but in actual fact each of them had a white-knuckled grip from behind with the hands you can’t see as well. The coincidence that both pictures show the same face is due mostly to the fact that it is the ‘pretty’ side; but also that the base of the back is the easiest to hold it by. As I said, give us a tick and we’ll see what we can do to show you a few more photos. (Also see the front cover of the Weekend Kalgoorlie Miner Newspaper for another shot.)
J.Lynn, you work for Rob Sielecki don’t you? So Ithat makes you blog authentic I guess!
A search of the Kalgoorlie Miner website couldn’t reveal anything about this gigantic nugget that by rights should be attracting world wide interest by now. Maybe J Lynn Sunderland can find what she is claiming here and post the link….http://kalgoorlie.thewest.com.au/Regionals.aspx?MenuId=237 Numerous web searches and phone calls cannot find anything of any substance to justify this story. The only evidence is the same self promoting article about the gold business Ausrox Gold that supposedly “brokered” the sale, owned Rob Sielecki and Andy Comas. Sold within a week to an undisclosed “overseas” buyer for a record amount, yet nobody has seen or heard of it until it was sold and the dealer is promoting the sale. Very suspicious don’t you think?
The posters who reflexively say “this photo is a fake” make me laugh. The flaws they see are imagined – the nugget does not have a gap of 4 inches – check the shadows from the flash, actual gap is more like 2 inches, consistent with the other pic. As for the guys holding it – check out the short haired guy’s forearm under his sleeve – this guy is struggling to hold it – while looking cool (he is Aussi after all).
You just know governments will find a way to confiscate it…
“Most prospectors in the room expressed regret or even outrage that this nugget would leave the country – although no doubt they would have done the exact same thing: sell it to the highest bidder.”
“And they even might get their wish because the story doesn’t end here. The Australian government might declare the nugget a National Treasure – and I think they should – and then Andy wouldn’t be able to export it.”
So how many years do you have to spend digging before you get lucky enough to stumble across one of these?
Between friends, work associates, people I know in the mining game, calls to the Gold museum in Ballarat, neighbours, relatives, enemies, shop attendants, google searches, letters to politicians, calls to newspapers, seances, prayers with heads of various religions, and even a consultation with a clairvoyant, nobody has seen first hand this record busting, scale breaking, mind numbing, breath taking, world beater of a nugget except for a photo produced by the two gold buyers who own Ausrox Gold and are pictured. Oh and J Lynn Sunderland claims to have seen it, and is some way connected to Ausrox Gold. Show me the proof and I will believe, in the mean-time I think it’s a load of crock s@#t! No wonder I’m a sceptic 😉
One month on since my last post and still no further reports of this H-U-G-E record nugget, and still no knowledge of it at the Australian gold museum. Very suspicious one would think!
Believe it or not it is a month today since my last post, hasn’t time flown?
Now with all manner of contacts and resources being busy of the last month checking various points of reference, for anything that could prove this monster of a nugget actually existed has proven negative.
My inquiries have ranged from various government departments, including mining records, customs control of Australian artefacts and natural resources, the Australian gold museum, through to plethora of gold buyers and mining companies.
And guess what?……..still nothing is known of this gold nugget except for the an article by the company that claims to have sold it on behalf of the person who claims to have found it!
Now call me a cynic if you wish, but I an beginning to think this was one big hoax. Never the less, my pursuit of the truth will continue!
The Ausrox Nugget is on display these days in the Melbourne Museum
I guess that ends the whole dispute above
We are looking for serious gold dust/bar and rough diamond buyer and if you are interested about it and we will give you our offers as follows.
1. FOB MALI
2. FOB BURKINA FASO
3. FOB GHANA
Our appointed representative shall accompany you and the products to your final destination and monitor further inspection of the assay process that will be carried out in the country where the products shall be shipped to. After you must have been satisfied with the product. You shall assist us to purchase needed plant machinery and mining equipments with part of the money for our use in order to boast our local production capacity, We can also go into a joint venture if you are interested in it and it will be based on your decision. Your quick and favourable response would be appreciated. We look forward in doing long lasting business transaction with you.
So, if you are interested kindly contact us for the FCO.
We looked forward to hear from you soon on my direct mail:
Don’t know about this one, sounds like a nigerian 419 scam to me
Just now I ran across the web for exactly this sort of details. Appreciate to your post that search has got to finish now. You had written the posting in a very clear way. With that, I included your blog sites as one of my favorites! Kind regards!
That is too small than what we can get in africa for good prices everyday…
Interest for more informations , just contact me email@example.com
I have seen and held this nugget personally, it is a genuine find, but there is no way in hell the guy in the picture is holding the real nugget, it must be a replica pictured. it is waaaay to heavy to be held up by one hand alone.. a plaster model yes.. 23 kg of gold, no..
So, I held this nugget a few weeks back when a photo shoot was going on at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, where it is on display for a few years. It went to the first mineral show in China, in May, for temporary display. The owner of the gold let me hold it, it really is quite heavy. The photo, you see above, of the fellow holding the gold is pretty obviously sitting on the green fabric and his hand is steadying the piece, so no…he is not holding it up. Anyhow, I volunteer at the Perot museum and talk about this piece over and over to the patrons who come to the gem and mineral hall. Am I reading this right that it is NOT the 3rd largest nugget found, as we have been told?
Can also get some contacts for those in need …firstname.lastname@example.org
About selling of Gold offer qnd Hoping a favorable reply of this inquiry
I am a paramount prince from Tarkwa Village in Obuasi, Ghana. Actually,as a traditional Head am covering five Villages of Obuasi where we have many hectare of land of Gold, inherited by our grandfathers. We have managed to dig out about 250KGS of Raw gold which I wanted to use your assistance to sell part of it in your country,in case you are not direct buyer then we can work with you as our Foreign partner while one of us will come over with the gold,though we are not asking you to first pay for the goods now but until it get to your custody while you suply them to interested buyers within your location and you take out your due commission and remit our money to us at our agreed price.
Specification: Alluvial gold dust/Bars.
Quantity: 250 Kilos
Quality: 22+ Carat
Origin: Ghana (West Africa)
Price: 30.000 USD per kilo
Tel; +233 573695671.
Just to make sure: the previous comment I only allowed for entertainment value.
Jeroen van Bergeijk