Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
2 minute read
15 Jun 2021
5:18 pm

PICS: These are the ‘diamonds’ being mined in KwaHlathi

Nica Richards

The DMRE arrived at KwaHlathi to greet community members with teams from Mintek and the Council for Geoscience. 

The DMRE arrived at KwaHlathi to greet community members a short while ago, armed with teams from Mintek and the Council for Geoscience. Photo: Twitter/@DMRE_ZA

An eager crowd greeted a task team dispatched by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) to determine whether diamonds have indeed been discovered at KwaHlathi in KwaZulu-Natal.

Residents of the town outside Ladysmith recently believed they had struck proverbial gold after discovering diamonds. 

KwaHlathi residents believe they have found diamonds

‘Diamonds’ shown to the DMRE on Tuesday, 15 June 2021. Picture: Twitter/@DMRE_ZA

The DMRE arrived at KwaHlathi to greet community members a short while ago armed with teams from Mintek and the Council for Geoscience. 

ALSO READ: KZN diamonds: ‘We’ll eat in Dubai now,’ says happy resident

Teams have brought their equipment to analyse and test whether diamonds were indeed discovered, or if they stumbled upon a heap of raw quartz, according to some on social media. 

Teams have brought their equipment to analyse and test whether diamonds were indeed discovered, or if they stumbled upon a heap of raw quartz, according to some on social media.

Picture: Twitter/@DMRE_ZA

When people first descended on the “diamond”-rich area, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala called for calm, raising concerns that too many people in one place could result in a stampede. 

Zikalala also said the sudden gathering of people means social distancing is likely not being maintained. 

With the country beginning to experience a third wave of Covid-19 infections, the event could be a super-spreader, in turn putting people at risk who are not part of the mining chaos, he said. 

Arrest made

An enterprising man accused of vehicle theft was arrested in Hlathi at the weekend. According to Colonel Thembeka Mbele, the Ekuvukeni visible policing officers were monitoring the area when they received information about a vehicle theft.

The police confronted the driver, who was trying to make a U-turn. A chase ensued and the driver of the bakkie abandoned the vehicle and tried to flee on foot but he was caught and arrested.

ALSO READ: Man arrested at KZN ‘diamond’ site for car theft

The vehicle was searched and a pistol with no serial number, a rifle and 16 .303 rounds of ammunition and 47 rounds of shotgun ammunition were recovered.

What is quartz worth? 

Should KwaHlathi prove to be the scene of a quartz-rich, and not a diamond-rich find, quartz is still worth a few dollars.

Quartz gemstones are relatively common materials, with unusually coloured gems fetching a pretty penny. 

Quartz stones

Different coloured quartz stones. Photo for illustration: iStock

Quartz is used in Swiss watches and is often used in electronic equipment. 

White quartz fetches around $2 (R28) a carat, with purple and pink quartz sometimes being sold for up to $15

If quartz crystals are found completely intact, they are worth more than those with cracks or fissures.