BRASILIA, Brazil -- The largest gold nugget ever found in Brazil has been discovered by a prospector on the Serra Pelada gold mine, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
The nugget weighs 615.6 troy ounces (19.145 kilos) and is valued at about $394,000.
Brazilian news reports Tuesday claimed the nugget was the world's second largest, losing out only to one found in Australia.
Clovis Tavares, a former baker from Aracatu, Sao Paulo, who has been digging the Serra Pelada gold mine in the heart of the Amazon jungle for the past two years, discovered the nugget Saturday, the Ministry said.
It was bought by the Federal Savings Bank, the state entity charged with purchasing all gold from Brazilian prospectors, for $(TEXT OMMITED FROM SOURCE$) 394,273, according to the Ministry announcement.
Serra Pelada, Brazil's largest gold mine, was discovered at the beginning of 1980 and sparked a massive gold rush. In less than five weeks, more than 20,000 prospectors from all over the country converged on the site.
To date, Serra Pelada has produced more than 31,000 pounds (14,000 kilos) of gold, all of which has been dug by hand.
Tavares, however, will only receive 7 per cent of the value of his giant nugget, or approximately $27,599, because he was obliged to take on 12 other prospectors as partners for lack of capital to work his plot.