CAPE TOWN: The stones discovered within the KwaHlathi village are not diamonds however are quartz crystals, mentioned KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Edtea) MEC Ravi Pillay, on Sunday.
“The tests conducted conclusively revealed that the stones discovered in the area are not diamonds as some had hoped. In fact, what has been discovered are quartz crystals that are common across the Karoo Supergroup with extensional fracture planes, within and along the contact of Karoo dolerite sill,” Pillay mentioned.
“The value, if any, of the quartz crystals is yet be established but it must be mentioned that the value of quartz crystals is very low compared to that of diamonds,” mentioned Pillay.
Releasing the preliminary report into the findings, Pillay mentioned the report confirmed that the positioning of the casual mining practises was geographically situated on the sting of the Karoo dolerite sill, which was not in a zone the place diamond occurrences have been current.
He mentioned that it was confirmed by visible, geological and chemical analyses that have been performed.
He mentioned that Council for Geoscience can be working with varied stakeholders to institute a geological mapping programme, to know different potential resources which will advance socio-economic improvement in KwaHlathi.
“Extensive geoscience studies are required in the area, at a regional scale, to investigate possibilities of groundwater resources, as well as any other lithologies that may be host to other natural resources, that may contribute to local development and the economy of the province,” mentioned Pillay.
The “diamond rush” began after cattle herder, Phoka Mofokeng, got here throughout glass stones whereas digging in a subject, the Mercury reported on June 14.
He advised the group and, because the information unfold, folks flocked to the realm.
The KwaZulu-Natal authorities warned that the mining exercise was unlawful and will worsen the influence of the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
The Department of Minerals Resources and Energy (DMRE) dispatched a activity staff, comprising geological and mining specialists, to the realm to conduct a correct inspection of the positioning and of what had been found within the space.
On Sunday, Pillay mentioned that the exercise at KwaHlathi, prior to now week, highlighted the socio-economic challenges confronting folks within the space.
“Thus, in responding to this particular matter of the stones, we also have to provide a comprehensive response to the socio-economic challenges, as raised by the community members during our visit to the site, and as communicated by community representatives during a meeting held earlier,” Pillay mentioned.
A report on the findings by the Council for Geoscience and on the socio-economic challenges within the space might be introduced to Premier Sihle Zikalala, Pillay mentioned.
“This will be the basis for us to formulate a coordinated response to all the challenges. Part of the response will have to focus on the issue of roads and access to water. We will also formulate a comprehensive plan to rehabilitate the site on which digging is taking place,” Pillay mentioned.
“We appeal to the people on site to vacate the area, as what they are involved in has the potential of spreading Covid-19. The illegal mining practices also have a negative impact on the environment and land degradation, that has been accentuated by the extensive digging in the area,” added Pillay.