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Stones that sparked a ‘diamond rush’ are just quartz, tests reveal | South Africa

Unidentified stones that lured 1000’s of fortune seekers to a rural South African village weren’t diamonds as hoped, officers stated on Sunday, however quartz stones with comparatively low, if any, worth.

Folks from throughout South Africa travelled to KwaHlathi within the nation’s japanese KwaZulu-Natal province the place villagers had been digging with picks and shovels since 12 June after a herder found the primary stone in an open area and put out the phrase.

The provincial govt council member for financial improvement and tourism, Ravi Pillay, stated on Sunday he had counted about 3,000 folks there throughout a go to to the location, the place samples have been taken to determine the stones.

Hundreds of people digging holes
Fortune-seekers dig for the stones after phrase unfold they could possibly be diamonds. {Photograph}: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

“The tests carried out conclusively revealed that the stones found within the space are not diamonds as some had hoped,” he stated, including they have been in actual fact quartz crystals.

“The worth, if any, of the quartz crystals is but to be established however it have to be talked about that the worth of quartz crystals could be very low in comparison with that of diamonds.”

The occasion had highlighted the challenges confronted by native folks, he continued. Like many areas in South Africa, excessive ranges of unemployment and poverty have left communities dwelling hand to mouth.

Folks within the space had additionally raised considerations round roads and water through the go to, which officers stated they’d handle.

In the meantime, the variety of folks mining the land had dwindled to lower than 500, Pillay continued, although vital injury had already been achieved with an space of about 5 hectares (12 acres) coated in holes of as much as one metre, posing a hazard to cattle.

He stated these that proceed to mine, a state of affairs that additionally dangers the unfold of Covid, could be inspired to go away, although regulation enforcement could possibly be drawn upon if crucial.

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