Thousands of punters gathered in KwaHlathi village just outside Ladysmith in search for what is suspected to be diamonds discovered by a herdsman Phoka Mofokeng. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)
Thousands of punters gathered in KwaHlathi village just outside Ladysmith in search for what is suspected to be diamonds discovered by a herdsman Phoka Mofokeng. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

This is why experts want to conduct further tests in KwaHlathi where quartz stones were found

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jun 21, 2021

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DURBAN - EVEN though the stones discovered in the KwaZulu-Natal village of KwaHlathi turned out to be quartz and not diamonds, the Council for Geoscience is expected to conduct further tests in the area.

On Sunday, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay said the council would work with various stakeholders to further understand any other potential resources that could advance socio-economic development 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," he said.

During a media briefing on Sunday, Pillay said a technical sub-task team, consisting of Department of Minerals, Resources and Energy KZN Regional officials, the Council for Geoscience, the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, and Mintek, analysed samples.

Pillay said the preliminary report showed that the site of the informal mining practices was on the edge of a Karoo dolerite sill which was not in a zone where diamond occurrences were present.

He said that confirmed by visual, geological and chemical analyses.

"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.

“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," Pillay said.

Last week, hordes of people rushed to the site just outside Ladysmith in KZN in the hopes of grabbing what they believed to be diamonds.

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