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Aussie Picks Up Lodes of Money

October 28, 1987|DAVE JOHNSON

--Success eluded him for years, but Ray Hall kept digging away. Finally, at age 62, the retired meat worker unearthed his fortune right behind his shed: a reef of gold-laden quartz that may be one of the richest finds in Australia. The lifelong prospector struck the vein on Kurrinelli Station, south of the Outback town of Tennant Creek. Barry Coulter, Northern Territory minister for mines and energy, said: "When he filled a 44-gallon drum and drove into town to ask our mines and energy people to look at it, they almost fell off their chairs. The drum was full of very large gold nuggets." Hall used only a pick and shovel to search the region, worked by Chinese miners last century. Officials valued the gold in the drum alone at more than $700,000, and Coulter said drilling to determine the extent of the find would begin soon. Hall said he had been searching for the legendary Mother Lode Reef South for most of his life, "and I've found it."

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