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Two Swedish amateur prospectors make fortune on gold deposit

 Hansa Resources Ltd, a Canadian-based mineral exploration company, said on Monday it would pay $3.5 million to two women in their sixties who found a gold deposit while picking berries.

At least six mining companies lined up to strike a deal with Siv Wiik, 69, and Harriet Svensson, 64, after the two friends received the region's annual 'Mineral Hunt' prize for finding the largest deposit of gold and zinc ever discovered in Sweden by private individuals.

In addition to the cash sum, the two women will also retain a 20% stake in the project, named Storkullen.

"To discover high grade massive sulphides in outcrop is a rare event, particularly in a country like Sweden with such a rich mining history," the company's CEO Jeffrey Gale said in a press release.

The two women made the discovery while picking blueberries near the village of Overturingen in central Sweden, approximately 360 km northwest of Stockholm.

"First we found some copper and then some zinc. But we also saw something glistening in the mud and continued scraping. Suddenly we got a very pleasant surprise as a lump of gold appeared," Wiik said in an interview with Sweden's The Local news portal.

The women then took a mining concession on 800 hectares of surrounding land, as Swedish laws permit any citizen to make a mining claim, regardless of who owns the land.

The two friends, dubbed 'the golden girls' by the press, said their mineral hunt has just begun.

"Siv and I are going to travel to Whitecliff in Australia and search for opal. We're going to stay in the caves there. It has always been a dream of ours," The Local quoted Svensson as saying.

RIA Novosti

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