Australia is widely recognized as one of the most gold-rich places left on Earth. Much like the California Gold Rush brought flocks of people to the territory in 1848–1849, a series of gold rushes in the western portion of Australia during the late 19th century helped change the course of history for the island continent.
Even in a world where significant gold deposits are now becoming increasingly scarce, Australia remains the second-leading producer of the yellow metal among all countries (behind only China).
The country may pull even farther ahead of the pack thanks to recent exploration activity.
Royal Nickel Corporation (RNC), a Canadian multinational miner, made an impressive discovery at its Beta Hunt mine last month. The mining site has a long and storied history, but many assumed its gold reserves were likely exhausted when RNC acquired the mine in 2016.
However, some deeper digging (pun intended) revealed that the past four decades of nickel mining at Beta Hunt had exposed a four-kilometer horizontal vein of gold deposits.
The company initially extracted about 30,000 troy ounces of gold, which included two massive orebodies composed primarily of quartz and gold. The larger of these two rocks has been assessed as the single largest and most valuable "natural mass of gold" currently in existence!
This unexpected discovery brightens the future prospects for the Beta Hunt mine, which is located in the Kambalda region of Western Australia.
Pending government approval, there are plans to take the two giant rocks of gold on a world tour in order to raise awareness of Australia's gold mining sector. Australia still boasts the largest proven-and-probable untapped gold reserves in the world, with an estimated 9,500 metric tons still residing beneath the ground.
According to reporting by the industry publication Australian Mining, many people are suggesting that these chunks of gold and quartz should be purchased by the Commonwealth as a way of preserving an important part of Australia's national heritage and history.
Gold mining continues to play a critical role in the Australian economy, ranking as its third-largest export on an annual basis.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.
Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.