'Billionaires are disappointed': Mzansi weighs in on KZN 'diamonds'

21 June 2021 - 13:00
A man displays one of the shiny stones that diggers in the KwaHlathi area of KwaZulu-Natal believed were diamonds.
A man displays one of the shiny stones that diggers in the KwaHlathi area of KwaZulu-Natal believed were diamonds.
Image: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

The area of KwaHlathi in KwaZulu-Natal is back in the spotlight after the provincial government announced on Sunday that the stones illegally mined by hopeful residents were not diamonds. 

The announcement has seen mixed responses, including from those who believed they had struck gold.

Some took a jab at the provincial government, saying it was quick to respond to claims about the stones, but was not so quick to respond to service delivery concerns.

Ravi Pillay, the KZN economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC, on Sunday announced the findings of a preliminary report of an investigation undertaken by an intergovernmental task team. 

“The preliminary report shows that the site of the informal mining practices is geographically located on the edge of a Karoo dolerite sill, which is not in a zone where diamond occurrences are present. This was further confirmed by visual, geological and chemical analyses that were conducted.

“The tests conclusively revealed that the stones discovered in the area are not diamonds as some had hoped. What has been discovered are quartz crystals that are common across the Karoo Supergroup,” he said. 

The MEC said the value of the quartz, if any, remained unclear until further assessments were carried out. He said the price of the stones was much lower than that of diamonds.

Pillay said further geological assessments would be conducted in the area to establish whether there are other potential resources that may advance socio-economic development in KwaHlathi.

The MEC said the government was made aware of service delivery concerns during meetings with community leaders and said these would be addressed.

Throw the stones away or keep them, just in case? Here's what was said on social media:


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