Some have relegated gold prospecting to the pages of history, but for one man, that could hardly be further from the truth.
Geologist David McInnes, 53, began his hunt for gold at Weethalle, about 200km north of Wagga, 18 months ago and is now looking to expand that search.
Mr McInnes lives near Batemans Bay at Potato Point on the South Coast and says it is only a six-hour drive from home.
He plans to invest as much as $1 million into the search and is hoping it pays off.
"We've already found good quality gold in rock chips so we know it's in the [Weethalle] area," he said.
Mr McInnes recently submitted his second exploration licence and is now waiting on the government to approve it before expanding his search.
His latest application is for an area totalling approximately 48 square kilometres adjoining his current allotment, which is almost 12 times that size.
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The Weethalle district has a history of gold mining extending back more than 100 years, but despite this Mr McInnes said he is one of the first in a recent wave of prospectors to renew the search.
"When I put in my first application, there were little to no applications, but since then, the whole area has been taken up," he said.
Mr McInnes believes this is being driven by the present minerals boom in Australia.
While gold is his main focus, there is also a chance of locating tin and rare earth metals in his search.
"There used to be tin mines in the area," he said.
The earliest available production figures for mines around the town of Weethalle date back to 1916.
"The area was mined commercially until about 1932 and the gold mined here was of a reasonably good grade. Prospectors have explored the area off and on since the 1960s."
To date, Mr McInnes has had no issues with the local landowners while conducting his search, but said any mine would likely take at least 10 years to get off the ground.
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