South Africa: KZN 'Diamonds' That Sparked Digging Spree Are Nothing More Than Common Quartz


A preliminary scientific report has confirmed that stones being excavated by illegal prospectors at a poor, rural area outside the KwaZulu-Natal town of Ladysmith are quartz crystals, and not the life-altering diamonds that many diggers had hoped.

As previously reported by Daily Maverick, thousands of mostly locals, and some from other parts of the province and country, have been flocking to a 50ha area in the village of KwaHlathi to dig for diamonds since an unidentified stone was unearthed on Saturday, 12 June 2021 by a herdsman.

But KwaZulu-Natal's MEC for economic development and environment, Ravi Pillay, confirmed at a press briefing on Sunday, 20 June what many geologists had been saying since images of the stones were strewn all over the media -- that the area was not in a diamond zone and that the objects were indeed quartz crystals.

Tests undertaken by the Council for Geoscience on samples that were collected last week had "conclusively revealed" that the stones were "not diamonds", Pillay said.

A woman holds what she believes to be a diamond after the discovery of unidentified stones at KwaHlathi village near Ladysmith on 17 June 2021 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

"The preliminary...

More From: Daily Maverick

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.