How ‘beginners luck’ unearthed $5500 prize – Daily Mercury

A COAL miner turned amateur gold prospector made the discovery of a lifetime, walking away with a $5500 lump of rock.

Andergrove resident Ben Roelofs said he and his mate, Callum Walters, were convinced by their boss to give prospecting a spin.

Hiring a metal detector from The Outback Prospector, a prospecting supply store in Clermont, the novice gold hunter said he was keen to try his luck.

But after an hour of walking through the bush and wandering along the creek, Mr Roelofs said he found nothing but rubbish.

Suddenly his metal detector “started going crazy”.

“I thought it was another piece of rubbish,” Mr Roelofs said.

Guided by the metal detector’s urgent beeping, Mr Roelofs said he started digging.

Once the hole reached 25cm deep, he knew he was onto something big.

Then he struck a rock, about a quarter of the size of his hand.

Andergrove resident Ben Roelofs found 72 grams of pure gold while prospecting at Clermont in February.

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“I was stunned that the heavy piece of rock I was holding was gold,” he said.

The 115 gram piece of quartz was threaded with thick chunks of gold, Mr Roelofs said.

And with 72 grams of pure gold twisting through the rock, Mr Roelofs said the nugget was worth about $5500.

“And it keeps going up. The gold price is going crazy,” he said.

But Mr Roelofs said he was not sure if he would sell his dazzling find.

“I like the look of it,” he said.

So for now the rock will remain as a very valuable trophy in his home.

Daily Mercury journalist Zizi Averill visited Clermont as part of the My Town series.

Sadly Mr Roelofs’s luck did not extend to his mate, Mr Walters, who walked away with only an old rusted belt buckle.

But perhaps their next adventure will dig up more treasures.

Mr Roelofs said he wanted to test his miraculous “beginners luck” again and planned to return to Clermont in three weeks.