Solomons treasure find not gold

4:00 pm on 9 March 2016

A consignment of what was thought to be gold found on a sunken ship in Solomon Islands is iron.

The Solomon Star newspaper says experts from the ministry of mines confirmed the metal bars were a lead iron alloy believed to have been used as ballast in the ship.

More than 70 of the metal bars, which were seized by police last week, had been salvaged by villagers from Ontong Java who had taken them to the capital Honiara hoping to sell them.

Speculation in the local media at the time was the consignment could have been worth millions of dollars.

People involved in the salvage told the paper they believed the ship from which the metal bars were taken was thought to have sunk near their island in the late 1800's.