DURBAN - There is a strong police presence at the KwaHlathi area in Ladysmith where scores of people have flocked since claims that “diamonds” had been discovered in the area.
On Tuesday afternoon, thousands of people from all over the province and further afield were in the area to dig for the “diamonds”.
Police officers were blocking and searching the vehicles travelling on a gravel road near where the glass stones were found.
“No one is allowed to go to the mine and dig now. Everyone travelling along this route must explain the reason why and where they’re going. People who have spades and (picks) inside their vehicles are being turned away,” said a police officer at the scene.
While the police were monitoring the movement of vehicles, they were not turning away the hundreds of people who were parking far from the site and walking towards where the glass stones were found.
The Mercury reported on Monday that the “diamond rush” started after a a cattle herder digging in a field came across the glass stones.
He told the community and as the news spread, people flocked to the area.
The KwaZulu-Natal government warned that the mining activity was illegal and could worsen the impact of the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
The Department of Minerals Resources and Energy (DMRE) said it would dispatch a task team comprising geological and mining experts to the area to conduct a proper inspection of the site and of what had been discovered in the area.
The teams would include the department’s enforcement and compliance unit to conduct an inspection of the site, experts from Mintek (the Council for Mineral Technology) and the Council for Geoscience, who could provide an opinion on the mineral composition of rocks and analyse an area’s potential for mineral resources.
It said the team was en-route to the site to collect samples, and an analysis would be conducted, and a formal technical report would be issued in due course.