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Thailand gold rush has unusually good year

The Wang river is wider during this drought season.
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Bars of 2012 Lunar New Year gold on display in Beijing. (AFP/Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Every year, Thai villagers from the Wang Nuea district flock to the Wang river to look for gold. But this year, they're earning unusually high profits, reported BBC News

Gold ore erodes from nearby hills into the river every year during drought season, which lasts from December through March. During this current drought, the river has been unusually wide. “This year, the Wang River’s level has fallen, making it easy to pan for gold," a Thailand official told the Chiangrai Times. 

More from GlobalPost: Gold lust drains Bangkok

Prospectors have been able to find about $10 worth of gold per day, the BBC reported

However, the villagers have more competition than usual. The Chiangrai Times reported that gold panning used to be a "well-kept secret" among local villagers, but has since captured the attention of national officials.

Still, the Thailand government doubts that there is enough gold in the river for any commercial mining.

“Many people come here to find gold. Some are lucky, others are not. It’s a matter of luck,” a villager told the Chiangrai Times. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/thailand-gold-rush