Gold Fever Gripping the Australian Outback

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"More and more people are giving up lucrative jobs in cities in Australia for a chance at the quick riches and adventure offered by old-fashioned prospecting."

New York Times, Matt Siegel

Four years ago, Marco Nero was on top of the world. He was earning more than $1 million working as a film effects designer for some of the world’s most prestigious digital animation houses. His mind, however, was elsewhere. Mr. Nero, 40, was increasingly spending his office hours poring over Web sites for anything he could find about an unlikely subject: gold. Shortly thereafter, despite protests from friends and family, he quit his job to hunt for gold.

Gold prices are up 23% since the beginning of this year alone. As a result, more and more people are giving up lucrative jobs in cities in Australia for a chance at the quick riches and adventure offered by old-fashioned prospecting.

Australia is the world’s second-biggest producer of gold, after China. Domestic mines produced 266 tons at a value of 12 billion Australian dollars ($12.42 billion) in 2010, the consulting firm Surbiton Associates said in its latest survey of the Australian gold mining industry. By comparison, the United States produced 240 tons in 2010. . .View full article

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