The nodule was buried 60cm underground, and it’s been estimated that the value exceeds A$300,000 (£197,000). The amateur prospector who first made the discovery did so with the use of a state-of-the-art metal detector.

Though gold has been uncovered in the vicinity in the past, never before have the discoveries matched this heft, say local gold experts.

“I have been a prospector and dealer for two decades, and cannot remember the last time a nugget over 100 ounces (2.8kg) has been found locally,” said Cordell Kent, owner of the Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop.

According to Kent, the man in question who made the find was “a person who really deserved it.” Kent said the discovery will likely drum up business in the area.

“I’ve got no doubt there will be a lot of people who will be very enthusiastic about the goldfields again. It gives people hope.”

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