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The origin of nuggets was in the early 'days of Australia, as it is now (remarks the Argus) a matter of controversy among experts. The fact of the Welcome Stranger being found almost, encompassed by the roots of a tree, and in peculiar red earth, which the diggers 'described as “like burnt brick, “ was considered by many miners to support the fanciful theory advanced by Mr Evan Hopkins—a visitor to Victoria in 1852 that the roots of trees had the power of drawing up fine gold and accumulating it near the surface. Scientifically wiki, the theory seemed to be supported by the fact that so many large nuggets were found close Ho, or almost on, the surface. Another idea was that nuggets literally grew, the gold contained in solution being deI posited by geological forces in a form which may be described as Nature's process of electroplating, so that, a basis once formed,, the nugget would grow by accumulatioh. Experiments have been made by placing pieces* of gold in saline waters to find out if there was any sensible increase in weight, but the plan was always affected by the simple fact that no one had the patience to wait two or three thousand years for the results. Without touching at all upon the controversies of mining experts, it is obvious that nuggets came from quartz reefs, because nearly all of them, though much water worn, were still 'studded with quartz when found Even those which show no trace of quartz wort once encompassed with it. If the theory that the highest reefs carried golu in heaviest clots were generally accepted, the rest of the reasoning as to the origin of 'nuggets would become east-. By the natural forces of attrition or denudation exposed reefs would break away in lumps. Sudden changes of cold and heat with the rocks fully exposed , or the decay of mineral veins bisecting the quartz, result in natural iractures, and so a mass of quart# from a cap, like the saddle reefs of Bendigo, was cast off with a quantity of gold enclosed in it. Then running water—the groat wonderworker in geology—which is ever pulling down the mountains and upbuilding the plains, took it in charge —washed it, rolled it. tossed it about fot countless ages, and so, wearing away ehe quartz, disclosed and finally rounded the nugget, until its specific gravity became so, great, and the friction so slight that it finally settled down, and every successive storm helped to bury it deeper. The large nuggets that have been discovered fsom known reefs were contained originally in large masses of quartz, whose, lighter specific gravity, as compared with that of pure gold, made them movable in the rush of storm waters, while the nugget* lying close to known quarfrz reefs may have fractured with little quartz attached, and so come to a halt earlier than would otherwise have been the case.

The Socialists have been worsted in the elections in Germany, and the Government emerge with a strong following. The Kaiser’s victory was followed by a startling announcement of the early completion of alterations in the five shipyards, rendering them capable of building 25,000 ton battle ships.

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Bibliographic details

HOW NUGGETS ARE FORMED., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 49, 2 February 1907

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HOW NUGGETS ARE FORMED. Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 49, 2 February 1907

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