Good prospects for Easter gold hunt

It’s a great time to get out and search for gold on the back of recent discoveries across western Victoria.

It’s a great time to get out and search for gold on the back of recent discoveries across western Victoria.

Last month a prospector using a metal detector discovered a 4.6kg nugget in Victoria’s Golden Triangle in the state’ west. The find is valued at around $240,000. A gold nugget worth about $200,000 was also discovered in the same area in 2019.

In Victoria, hobby gold hunters must possess a miner's right, allowing them to keep any gold they find. There are over 76,000 active miner’s rights in Victoria and the rush to get involved shows no sign of slowing with almost 4,000 purchased in during 2023. A miner’s right can be purchased for $26 from Services Victoria.

With more Victorians hunting for gold, it’s important that prospectors are doing the right thing, keeping safe and protecting the environment. Earth Resources Regulation Inspectors frequently check that prospectors are licenced, panning in permitted areas and reducing their impact on the environment.

It is important prospectors understand the access requirements of their preferred location, keep up to date on weather forecasts and are aware of local road conditions. They should always tell someone where they are going, when they will return and should always be beware of any old mine shafts in the area.

Fossicking and recreational prospecting is permitted in state forests and in designated areas of some national, state, historic and heritage parks. The use of mechanical equipment or explosives is not allowed, vegetation and Aboriginal objects must not be removed or damaged.

Prospectors must also obey all other public land rules, including driving only on public tracks or roads, taking all rubbish home, and immediately restoring the area by backfilling any holes and replacing leaf litter.

Earth Resources Regulation has produced a Guide to Recreational Prospecting in Victoria and a helpful video, both can be accessed at fossicking.

Quotes attributable to Earth Resources Regulation’s Executive Director Anthony Hurst

“Recreational prospecting has a long and rewarding history in Victoria and can result in Eureka moments, with valuable finds made in recent years.”

“Giving someone a miner’s right for Easter is a great way to introduce friends and family to the state’s historic gold regions and the enjoyment of searching for gold using metal detectors or hand tools like sieves and pans – and it could result in a discovery.”

“Buying a miner’s right for $26 could be the best investment you ever make!”