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GOLD FEVER is gripping America again with record numbers of people taking to the hills and streams of California and other states hoping to strike it rich.
Membership of the Gold Prospectors of America Association has risen 20% in the past year, said general manager Ken Rucker.
The numbers of people registering claims for mineral rights has also shot up. For the past two years, mining claims in California, the most gold-rich state, have grown by more than 3,000. Another 1,173 claims were filed in the first three months of 2009 alone, government figures show.
However, the public figures don’t tell the full story because there are still parts of the US where anyone can prospect for gold without a claim.
Driven by the soaring price of gold, now fetching more than $900 an ounce ..