Two amateur gold prospectors and a hand-held metal detector have discovered a gold reef worth hundreds of thousands of dollars near Ballarat in western Victoria, Australia. Steve Glasson and Russell Sanderson, both of Ballarat, credited their discovery to a “rich vein of luck” and a A$6,000 Australian-made Minelab GPX-4500, described as the “Rolls Royce” of gold detectors. “The deepest of the gold was covered by a metre of soil, so for the equipment to detect gold at that level is unbelievable,” Sanderson said.The discovery of “several hundred ounces” of gold at the undisclosed Ballarat location, represents the culmination of a combined 60 years of recreational prospecting by Glasson and Sanderson. “We’re both excited about the prospect of there being more gold in area,” Glasson said. “And if there is, the GPX-4500 will find it, we’re confident of that,” he said.The gold reef – found in a 15 m2 area over a two-week period – has been sold to a private buyer as a collection for an undisclosed amount. Amazingly, Sanderson had searched the same area several years ago with older gold detecting equipment, and only found some small gold nuggets just below the surface. “Without the Minelab GPX-4500 detector I don’t think we would have made the discovery,” Sanderson said. “Today’s technology is just amazing for prospecting and it is great that we are leading the world with such Australian-made excellence.”The find was made about two months ago, but the prospectors have only now gone public with the extent of the discovery. The two men plan to return to the area over the next few weeks with the GPX-4500 to see if there is more gold to be found.The GPX-4500 gold detector is made by Adelaide-based Minelab Electronics – part of the Codan Group – and the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of metal detectors. “It is great to hear yet another rewarding result from people who use our state-of-the-art gold detecting equipment,” said Minelab General Manager, Peter Charlesworth. “What a wonderful discovery for two passionate recreational prospectors. We are delighted our GPX-4500 is being hailed as the reason for the discovery – and we are more than happy for the reputation of our equipment to do the talking for us.”Charlesworth said the GPX-4500 was only released to the market in March this year, with new added features that makes it stronger and more versatile than previous models. Incorporating new SETA technology, it is quieter and more immune to interference, has a range of automatic functions and pre-set Search Mode, louder target signals, and improved discrimination.Based in Adelaide with sales and distribution offices in Ireland and the USA,Minelab specialises in advanced electronic technologies. Minelab is best known for its penetration of international markets with world-leading handheld gold and treasure detectors and landmine detecting technology and equipment.