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At Australian mint, history thwarts a golden opportunity

Section: Daily Dispatches

Heritage Cops Stand in Way of Harvesting Dust Trove Trapped in Walls

By Rhiannon Hoyle
The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, August 13, 2014

PERTH, Australia -- Greg Cooke knows where gold worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is hidden. But like many people in this mining city, his problem isn't finding the precious metal; it is being able to recover it.

That's because the gold is in the form of dust that has accumulated in the brickwork of the old Perth Mint since its founding in the 1890s at the height of one of the world's great gold rushes. Decades of refining resulted in tiny fragments of gold embedding themselves in the fabric of the mint's historic melting house. To paraphrase a well-known bit of mining lore, there's gold in them thar walls! ...

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