Xinjiang Herdsman Finds 8kg Gold Nugget, Lawyer: Minerals Are Property of the State
On 2015 January 30, a 7.85kg gold nugget in was found by a Kazakh herdsman in Xinjiang’s Altay prefecture Qinggil county. According to local historians, this is the largest gold nugget ever found in Xinjiang.
When it comes to finding a natural piece of gold, who gets ownership? Shaanxi Qingang Law Firm lawyer Shi Weibin says this herdsman not only cannot keep the piece of gold he found, he also mustn’t sell it on the market.
A brilliant yellow object lay exposed on the ground
On the morning of the 4th, this reporter contacted by phone the herdsman who had found the gold nugget. He lives in Qinggil county, and his family has for the past few years made a living raising livestock. In 2014, he and his friends joined together to search for gold, never expecting to accidentally find this gold nugget.
The herdsman excitedly said that around 7pm on 2015 January 30, he was walking around a mining site in Qinggil county as usual when suddenly he say a brilliant yellow object lying exposed on the ground. “When I walked closer, I was dumbfounded. My god, it was a piece of gold! I was so excited that I was jumping up and down.” Afterward, he rushed to call his family, and several of them carefully carried this gold nugget back home.
Because this gold nugget has a characteristic shape and is nearly 8kg in weight, making it very rare, news of it traveled around fast, with many people coming by one after another to admire it. This herdsman half-jokingly said: “My home is like a marketplace every day, with some people bringing cameras to take photographs, some posting it to their WeChat friends circle, and some taking photos with it.”
Gold piece 23 centimeters long, shaped like a large rooster
A Qinggil historical records office worker told this reporter that they rushed over to this herdsman’s home after learning about this matter on the afternoon of February 3rd. This natural piece of gold is 23 centimeters long, about 18 centimeters wide at its widest, and 8 centimeters thick at its thickest. What is even more peculiar is the piece of gold has almost artificial openwork, where it looks different from different angles, like a large footprint, a man sitting on the summit of a mountain, or as some say, even looking like a large rooster.
“While examining it, there was some sandstone and mud, their dirt color barely covering its shiny yellow golden color,” said the Qinggil historical records worker. According to their research, this piece of gold should be the largest gold nugget ever discovered in Xinjiang.
As it is understood, Xinjiang Altay prefecture was once known for its gold, and to this day, the people still pass down the saying “Altay has 72 ravines and every ravine has gold”. Moreover, “Altay” in Turkic means “gold”, and has had large scale gold mining/prospecting in the past.
Must pieces of natural gold that are found
be handed over to the state/government?
For several days now, numerous friends and family have come to the home of the herdsman who found the exceptionally large 7.85kg piece of gold, to behold this rare marvel. Some netizens have said this herdsman’s life has changed, becoming rich overnight, that he can sell the piece of gold, and improve his life. However, there are also netizens who worry, wondering if the gold will be confiscated by the state/government.
In regards to this, Chongqing Kangyu Law Firm attorney Chen Baoyan believes first an expert needs to appraise the piece of gold, and confirm that it is a natural mineral or cultural relic. If it is a natural mineral or cultural relic, then it must be handed over to the government. Shaanxi Qingang Law Firm attorney Shi Weibin says the herdsman not only cannot keep the piece of gold, he must not sell it on the market either.
“Natural gold is classified as a national precious material, a mineral resource, and according to the regulations of the Mineral Resources Law, it is considered property of the state.” Shi Weibin says if the herdsman keeps it, he may be prosecuted for illegal possession/appropriation. The Mineral resources Law stipulates that mineral resources are considered property of the state, with ownership exercised by the State Council; mineral resources on the surface or below the surface are property of the state, and ownership is not affected by the property rights or usage rights associated with the land; and organizations or individuals are prohibited from appropriating or destroying such mineral resources.
Shi Weibin says if it is appraised that the gold piece is a cultural relic, it too must be handed over to the government. According to the relevant provisions of the Cultural Relic Preservation Law, cultural relics discovered are considered property of the state, not to be violated, looted, privately split, or hidden by any work unit or individual. “The herdsman needs to give the gold piece to the local government, but the state needs to give him a suitable reward or storage fee,” claims Shi Weibin.
As of submission of this report, Xinjiang Qinggil county officials have yet to make a statement about this “gold nugget”.
Comments from NetEase:
I found a rock yesterday, over 1kg. I’m inquiring, which government department I should give it to?
Are these lawyers coming out asking to be scolded? Stupid cunts.
This herdsman sure is filial, knowing that government leaders lack a tribute for Chinese New Years.
I just want to know where this lawyer lives, who his wife and children are.
If I stumble due to a stone on the road, should I also seek compensation from the owner of the stone (a mineral)?
Already guessed it.
Motherfuckers. When you’re needed, you’re nowhere to be found, but when there’s profit to be had, you immediately appear!
Sensationalism! Who can tell me: Is this person a lawyer or a donkey’s shit [a pun in Chinese]?
Is this conclusion unexpected? To whom do the polluted mountains, plains, and rivers belong to?