Thousands of people seeking treasures flocked to the village KwaHlathi in South Africa and believed that the area actually contains diamonds. In the month of May 2021, a man dug up a crystal-like stone in the field and spread the news of the discovery. Geologists and the experts have not analyzed the stone at that time, and authorities asked people to stay away from the site, and proper investigation will be carried out. The government of the province shared a video on Twitter showing concern over the diamond rush. They said that the reports of illegal mining activity are taking place in the village outside Ladysmith.
The government of South Africa now says that the stones discovered in the KwaHlathi village in May 2021 are actually quartz and not diamonds. After the cattle herder uncovered the stones first in KwaZulu-Natal province, thousands rush to the village over 300km southeast of Johannesburg.
However, the results of the test conducted showed that the stones are quartz crystals and are very less valuable, said the officials. Quartz is one of the abundant elements in the crust of Earth after feldspar. A local government stated in a report that the test conducted conclusively unveiled that the stones in the area are not diamonds. The extreme rush occurred as it was one of the poorest regions of South Africa. The country was already suffering from high levels of inequality in the economy and has increased joblessness due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As per the data of John Hopkins University, South Africa recorded more coronavirus cases than other countries on the continent, with almost 1.8 million confirmed cases and around 60,000 deaths reported. In such a scenario, the rush for diamonds was obvious.
The Rush for Diamonds Exposes Deep Frustration
Upon finding the quartz, which was believed to be diamonds in the village KwaHlathi, the communities exposed deep frustrations as they were desperately finding ways to eliminate poverty. Several studies carried out in the region have unveiled that the site where the stones were discovered is located at the end of the Karoo Dolerite sill. The place was not in a zone where diamonds are usually found.
Further studies will be carried out by the council of Geoscience to discover if there are any other minerals found in the region. It may create job opportunities for the people living in the area. People were asked to stop digging by the government as illegal mining practices will have a bad impact on the environment.