Returning: Aussie Gold Hunters

Discovery show returns to unearth its biggest nugget so far.

Season 4 of Aussie Gold Hunters returns next month when one crew unearths a mighty 77.7 ounce nugget worth over $200,000.

Discovery is claiming the find in Victoria as the biggest gold nugget in television history (I guess so, I don’t think we’v had too many shows unearthing such).

While the mainstay crews of prospectors continue their hunt on the extreme landscapes of Western Australia, new team the Victoria Diggers, Neville Perry and Mick Clark, stake their claim in Victoria – a region rich in Australia’s gold rush history and renowned for delivering some of the largest nuggets on Earth. The world’s biggest gold nugget ever found, the 72kg, $3.6million ‘Welcome Stranger’, was discovered in 1869 in Moliagul, Victoria.

150 years later and mere kilometres away at their lease near Dunolly, experienced miners Neville and Mick are working on some of the richest alluvial gold ground on the planet in a region dubbed ‘The Golden Triangle’. German Gully was mined 160 years ago and the 12,000 miners that descended on the area at the time pulled up over half a billion dollars of gold. You’d be forgiven for thinking there was no gold left to find, but with their state-of-the-art metal detecting technology and mining process, the Victoria Diggers prove there’s still a fortune to be discovered when they unearth the 77.7-ounce pure gold nugget, worth over $200,000. The stuff of legends, their historic find is revealed in Episode 3 of Aussie Gold Hunters.

Meanwhile in Western Australia the other four crews are tackling the remote goldfields head on. Fresh off their “million-dollar” season last year are the Dirt Dogs – Vern Strange, Jake Larsen and three new recruits Kal and Leigh Henderson, alongside mill operator Steve Bult. Last season, Vern’s resilience was tested after his best mate Leon quit and business partner Marko was forced from the team, but this year he takes an even bigger risk, negotiating a 50/50 partnership deal with Jake on their new $300,000 hard rock mining operation at their Piefinch lease. And with the paydirt exhausted at their Jackson lease, Vern needs to find new gold ground fast so they can get their huge dry blower ‘Goldzilla’ back online. Without it they’re losing thousands of dollars of gold a week and jeopardising their chance of reaching their 200-ounce season target.

Seasoned husband and wife duo, the Gold Gypsies Greg & Christine Clark, are also back, buoyed by the success of last season. These two are determined to not only survive but also thrive this year having sold their huge Taurus lease and purchased a much smaller seven-hectare site at Horseshoe Gully – confident that the twelve old mineshafts on the lease indicate that there’s still gold to be found here. But they’re starting the new season with a huge $20,000 excavator repair bill to pay which uses up all their profit from last year. With a 50-ounce season target they need to make enough money to ensure they don’t have to quit mining for a nine-to-five job in the city.

In the small mining town of Kalgoorlie, The Mahoneys – Ted, Lecky and their 22-year-old daughter Tyler – are under pressure from the knowledge that the gold ground on the outskirts of the township is fast running of surface gold. They decide to head over 2,000km to the far north of Western Australia where they face intense heat, the threat of bushfires and dangerous crocodiles. It’s a tough environment with Ted and Lecky starting to feel their age in increasingly trying conditions and the extremes of the remote location threaten to be too taxing for them. Fuelling the tension is Tyler who desperately needs to find over $30,000 of gold this season to cover the costs of her new jewellery and swimsuit business.

With just one season on the hunt, rookie crew The Scrappers – British gold hunter Alex Stead and his father-in-law Eric Richards – return hungrier than ever and taking the biggest gamble of their lives. Alex, the team’s financier, has invested $55,000 in a new ball mill so they can double their output. But with just $20,000 of cash reserves remaining, they desperately need to find gold before the money runs out, so he calls in some mates from Cornwall (UK) for reinforcement. Alex’s wife Julie is anxious about the new plant and lease, and with a new baby to support and rising friction between family members, they can’t afford to have another disappointing season on the goldfields.

Now in its fourth season, Aussie Gold Hunters is Discovery’s #1 hit local production and follows crews of gold prospectors in Western Australia, and now Victoria has been added to the mix. The 13-part series delves into the wild world of gold mining, revealing the gruelling work and high risks it takes to chase a fortune on some of Australia’s gold-rich landscapes.

With new goldfields, new miners, extreme weather, venomous snakes, gold thieves, and relentless competition, these crews need to go further into the desert, dig deeper and risk more if they’re going to come out the other side on top. Bigger and tougher than ever before, this history-making season of Aussie Gold Hunters begins Thursday 2 May at 7:30pm.

Thursdays from 2 May at 7:30pm on Discovery Channel

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