Diamond RUSH

Diamond Rush

Latest Diamond Rush, Watch as people swarm to Kwhlanati, Ladysmith KZN as “diamonds” discovered.

A diamond rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area where diamonds were newly discovered. Major diamond rushes took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in South Africa and South-West Africa.

In the latest diamond rush, miners have descended on the area near Ladysmith amidst social media reports of diamonds being discovered after people posted photos on Facebook.

Scores of rural dwellers have descended on Kwahlanati near Ladysmith to ‘mine’ for diamonds, raising government concerns about health and safety in the area.

Several people have posted videos and images on social media of what they believe to be large diamonds that they have found in Kwahlanati.

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Geological and mining experts will be dispatched to KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith, where throngs of people have gathered in the belief they have found diamonds.

While some believe it may be quartz crystals, others think they have discovered the precious stone. Images and videos are circulating on social media where some involved in illegal mining are seen celebrating in the belief that they have struck it rich.

The KwaZulu-Natal government said as soon as it was alerted to this, its officials contacted the national department of minerals and energy, which has promised to dispatch teams to the site.

These teams include the department’s enforcement and compliance unit to conduct an inspection of the site, as well as from Mintek (the Council for Mineral Technology) and the Council for Geoscience.

“The Mintek and GCS teams will include a geologist and will focus on establishing what exactly are these items that have been discovered at KwaHlathi,” said the provincial government.

Zikalala’s spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the provincial government had noted with concern, the reports of illegal mining activity taking place at KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith where throngs of people had gathered to mine what they believe are diamonds.

“This activity follows the discovery by some of what they believe to be the precious stones. Images and videos have been circulating on social media where some involved in the illegal mining are seen celebrating in belief that they had struck it rich,” Mabaso said in a statement released on Sunday.

He said the matter had been referred to the national Department of Minerals and Energy, which had promised to dispatch enforcement and compliance unit teams to conduct a site inspection. 

He added that a team from Mintek (the council for Mineral Technology)  and GCS (the Council for Geoscience), which will include a geologist, would be dispatched to inspect the stones residents had discovered. 

“We are deeply concerned about the images showing that some people coming from as far as some of the neighboring provinces and towns are flocking into kwaHlathi,” Zikalala said.

Diamond Rush in History

  • In 1871, the discovery of an 83.50 carat (16.7 g) diamond on the slopes of Colesberg Kopje on the farm Vooruitzigt in South Africa led to the foundation of Kimberley Mine, and eventually the town of Kimberley. This diamond rush was termed the “New Rush”,] as diamond prospectors were already operating in the country.
  • In 1908, the discovery of a diamond near Grasplatz station in German South-West Africa led to a diamond rush developing the town of Lüderitz and creating several mining settlements that today are ghost towns.]
  • In the 1990s, several frequency domain heliborne electromagnetic anomalies were discovered by Charles E. Fipke around Lac de Gras, a lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Several mines were established, leading to the Canada diamond rush.]

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