’One-in-a-billion chance’ diamonds can be found on the ground in KZN - geologist
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Durban - There is a “one-in-a-billion chance” that diamonds can be found on the ground in KwaZulu-Natal because of its geological composition. This is according to geologist Warrick Hastie from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
“A diamond find in the province is implausible. Most of what is being found looks to be gemstones and minerals like quartz. To my knowledge no alluvial diamonds have been found in KZN, and kimberlite diamond veins are not prevalent here either. The province doesn’t have the sexy minerals and materials like diamonds, gold and platinum. We have heavy metals and coal,” he said.
Hastie said the rush was likely caused by desperation.
“The country is in quite a state at the moment as the pandemic and lockdown have caused people to lose their livelihoods,so when the news spread that there could be diamonds, people saw it as a chance for a better life,” he said.
Geologist John Bristow, director of the Global Diamond Network, said the stones were unlikely to be diamonds.
“Geologically speaking, we can never say never, but the fundamentals of the science and basic understandings suggest that it is incredibly unlikely for a diamond find to occur. You require an ancient core and crust, which is just not possible in KZN, as it is a coastal area and as a result, is younger. Diamonds need to come from deep down below, which is why areas like Kimberley were diamond-rich as they had these pipelines that diamonds would travel through,” he said.
Bristow, who grew up in Ladysmith, said that what was being found were likely either quartz or silica, which had very little value in comparison to the diamonds fortune-seekers hoped to find.
“They are very common minerals, but we will have to wait and see after studies and reports are released to conclusively know. But for now, I do not believe we have a diamond find in the province,” he said.
Geological experts and authoritative bodies in the field visited the site to conduct tests, and a report on the composition of the stones is expected to be released soon.
In 2018 a similar fever gripped the province when hundreds of villagers flocked to find “gold” near Harding in southern KZN.
But the Council for Geoscience, found there was no economic gold, in the quarry and its surroundings. All concentrations were significantly low and were within normal values.