gold fever on a "spec"

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    Gold Fever Grips Slum

    Mon Oct 4,10:48 AM ET
    MANILA (Reuters) - A mini gold rush has gripped a Manila slum district after residents said they found nuggets of the precious metal in a garbage-strewn river, baffling geologists who said it shouldn't be there.

    Wilfredo Gallo, a traffic-control official who lives near the river in the Philippine capital, said the rush was sparked by his son who found 2.6 ounces of gold in the area last week.

    "Papa, I saw something. It's the father of all gold nuggets," he quoted the boy as saying.

    Gallo said he sold the gold for $445 and used the proceeds to buy a new television and a bicycle for his son.

    By Monday, the stretch of river was crowded with people hoping to strike lucky.

    Using plastic cups and wire mesh, they panned sand in the murky river, ignoring the garbage floating past.

    A Reuters photographer saw a man pay a resident 2,000 pesos for a gold-colored nugget.

    Geologists who inspected the site said the discovery could be a case of wishful thinking by the impoverished slum dwellers.

    "No sample of gold was shown to our geologists. We don't know if it's gold or fool's gold," a geologist at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau said.
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