Fool’s gold? But they turn up anyway

Fool’s gold? But they turn up anyway
July 07, 2009 Print Ready Email Article

THEY have been told that the shiny yellow specks are unlikely to be gold.

Click to see larger image
GOING FOR GOLD: Fortune hunters using tools to look for shiny yellow specks that they think they are gold. PICTURE: NST

But even then, some fortune hunters in Kedah, northern Malaysia, are not giving up.

Because they believe that the yellow-specked rocks on the hills in Pendang, near state capital Alor Star, are still worth something.

Some said they will continue to chisel away chunks of rocks in a tiny village called Kampung Jelutong, reported New Straits Times.

Restaurant owner Mahyuddin Ahmad, 37, is one of those who was undeterred when told that the yellow specks are likely to be other kinds of minerals.

The Malaysian Minerals and Geoscience Department confirmed yesterday that they are merely iron pyrite and arsenopyrite, reported Bernama.

The department’s director of Kedah, Perlis & Penang Zainol Husin said at a press conference: ‘It’s not gold and (it’s) commonly known as ‘fool’s gold’.’

He added that iron pyrite, which can be commonly found in rocks in Kedah, is used in making paper and sulphuric acid.

This is a reason why Mr Mahyuddin, one of about 400 gold hunters, is still undaunted.

He said: ‘If it is just iron pyrite, it is still valuable because I read that it has some commercial value in paper-making and in the telecommunications industry.’

He said that earlier, he had taken the yellow-specked rocks to some goldsmiths, whom he claimed, told him that it is ‘immature gold which will turn into gold after some time’.

Mr Mahyuddin and his friends have been going to the hills after a worker there discovered the shiny, yellow specks among the dark rocks on Wednesday.

Since then, hundreds of people with shovels, chisels and other excavation equipment have converged on the tiny village with the hope of striking it big.

Another resident, who only wanted to be known as Mr Ali, said he does not expect to be an instant millionaire.

But the gold sighting gives him a reason to feel positive during these tough times.

He told New Straits Times: ‘I am sure it has some value and in these trying times, something like this gives us some hope for better things to come.’

All ages

Even kids caught the gold-hunting fever.

Student Amirul Anas Amirul Rashid, 13, has been sifting through the dirt with the hope of hitting the jackpot.

He told ‘At first, my parents did not give me permission to look for gold.

‘But when I showed them what I found, my parents have also joined me in looking for more now.

‘We want to collect a lot of the ‘gold’ first before selling it.’

The gold hunters would not stop digging even when the skies turned dark.

They believed that it would be easier for them to search at night when the ‘gold’ reflects the rays from their torchlight.


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