SA 'diamond rush' unearths only quartz crystals

People from across South Africa travelled to KwaZulu-Natal after a herder claimed to have found a diamond in a field.

22 June 2021 | International

REUTERS

JOHANNESBURG

Unidentified stones that lured thousands of fortune seekers to a rural South African village to mine the land with picks and shovels were not diamonds as hoped, officials said on Sunday, but quartz stones with relatively low, if any, value.

People from across South Africa travelled to KwaHlathi in the country's eastern KwaZulu-Natal province where villagers had been digging since June 12 after a herder discovered the first stone in an open field and put out the word.

Provincial executive council member for economic development and tourism, Ravi Pillay, told a media briefing on Sunday he had counted some 3 000 there during a visit to the site, where samples were taken to identify the stones.

"The tests conducted conclusively revealed that the stones discovered in the area are not diamonds as some had hoped," he said, adding they were in fact quartz crystals.

"The value, if any, of the quartz crystals is yet to be established but it must be mentioned that the value of quartz crystals is very low compared to that of diamonds."

The event had highlighted the socio-economic challenges faced by local people, he continued. Like many areas in South Africa, high levels of unemployment and poverty have left communities living hand to mouth.

People in the area had also raised concerns specifically around roads and water during the visit, which officials at the briefing said they would address.

Meanwhile, the number of people mining the land had dwindled to less than 500, Pillay continued, though significant damage had already been done with an area of around 50 hectares covered in holes of up to one metre, posing a danger to cattle.

He said those that continue to mine in the area, a situation that also risks the spread of Covid-19, would be encouraged to leave, though law enforcement could be drawn upon if necessary.

Similar News

 

India restricts religious festivals

2 weeks ago - 09 September 2021 | International

NAMPA-AFP MumbaiIndian authorities are restricting major religious festivals that start this week and attract huge crowds, warning...

California moves to outlaw 'stealthing'

2 weeks ago - 09 September 2021 | International

NAMPA-AP CALIFORNIACalifornia lawmakers moved to make the state the first to outlaw ‘stealthing’, which is removing a condom without permission during intercourse. Legislators...

Voting underway in Morocco legislative, local polls

2 weeks ago - 09 September 2021 | International

NAMPA-AFP RabatMoroccans began voting yesterday in parliamentary and local elections that will decide the fate of Islamists who have governed the...

Covid: Sydney cases top 2 000 a day

2 weeks ago - 07 September 2021 | International

NAMPA-REUTERS SYDNEYSydney, the epicentre of Australia's biggest coronavirus outbreak, is expected to see daily...

Taliban claim control of Panjshir, promise formation of government...

2 weeks ago - 07 September 2021 | International

NAMPA-REUTERS KABULThe Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in the Panjshir valley north-east of Kabul yesterday, declaring that it completed the Islamist...

Marchers walk 7 000 steps for Canadian pair detained...

2 weeks ago - 07 September 2021 | International

NAMPA/AFP OttawaHundreds of supporters of two Canadian men being held in China on what Ottawa says are specious charges marched 7 000 steps through...

Tanzania court dismisses objections to opposition leader's trial

3 weeks ago - 02 September 2021 | International

AFPTANZANIAThe terrorism case against the leader of Tanzania's main opposition party can go ahead as planned, a high court judge in Dar es Salaam said...

Tigrayan forces allegedly looted aid warehouses in Ethiopia

3 weeks ago - 02 September 2021 | International

REUTERSADDIS ABABAForces from Ethiopia's Tigray region in recent weeks looted warehouses belonging to the US government's humanitarian agency in the Amhara region, USAID's mission director...

Geingob's talks with Mnangwagwa led to vaccine donation

3 weeks ago - 01 September 2021 | International

NAMPAWINDHOEKThe donation of 20 000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine by Zimbabwe followed a discussion between President Hage Geingob and that country's President Emmerson Mnangagwa on...

Decolonise the language of science

1 month - 23 August 2021 | International

SARAH WILD / NATURE MAGAZINEThere’s no original isiZulu word for dinosaur. Germs are called amagciwane, but there are no separate words for viruses or bacteria....

Latest News

Marketing Namibia as an investment...

20 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUThe ease of doing business, quality of roads and infrastructure, political and economic stability, good governance and judiciary independence are some of the factors...

Forklifting failure

20 hours ago | Others

Natasja ByleveldAre you OK thinking about unconventional ideas that could uplift society and norms to a higher standard? Do you like a challenge, or do...

Big thinker who is not...

20 hours ago | People

Contrasting with his considered, analytical, and steady approach to life, Rolf Mendelsohn is an undisputed adventurer. Together with the other founders of Paratus, Rolf...

Children abused as govt turns...

20 hours ago | Police

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKStaff at a centre for orphans and vulnerable people in Katutura...

Economy crawls into the green

20 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy WINDHOEKNamibia’s economy grew by 1.6% for the three months ended 30 June, the first positive year-on-year quarterly growth since the...

Oxygen giant spreads misinformation in...

20 hours ago | Health

MADLEN DAVIES and TUYEIMO HAIDULA LONDON/OSHAKATI One of the world’s biggest industrial gas companies spread misinformation in an attempt to stop...

Nigeria aims to boost oil...

20 hours ago | Economics

Nigeria said Wednesday it aims to produce 1.88 million barrels per day of crude oil next year and the budget will be based on the...

Submissions open for Hollard Sport...

20 hours ago | Economics

STAFF REPORTERLockdown and the limitations on gatherings and events have driven those in the sports marketing and promotional space to have to adapt, digitise, dig...

An easy ride-hailing platform

20 hours ago | Others

Wetumwene Shikage The everyday experience for many Namibians of getting a taxi to from different locations has been made more convenient. TaxiConnect provides an easy...

Load More