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Diamonds and De Beer

DIAMONDS, GOLD AND SOUTH AFRICA

http://mygeologypage.ucdavis.edu/cowen/~gel115/115ch15diamonds.html

January 23, 2018

 

Summary

In 1867 a 21-carat diamond was
found near the Orange River, which sparked the diamond rush, followed by the
discovery of gold in the Witswaterstrand which resulted in a mass migration of labourers
to South Africa and Gauteng specifically. 
Known as the ‘place of gold,’ Johannesburg was bustling with miners. This
escalated into small businesses sprouting up as well as small shanty homes
where the labourers lived, resulting in the development of the new township of
Johannesburg, filled with settlers. Soon extractions using rope had developed
to machinery, thus the De Beers Mining Company Ltd was formed. De Beers
sold diamonds worth twice its operating costs, and was able to raise capital
needed to control the diamond market by buying up competing mines or surplus
diamonds. South Africa now produces only 15% of the
world’s diamonds. In contrast gold mining was the basis for South
Africa’s prosperity. At least half a million South Africans rely on the mining
industry.

Purpose

This article was written for the
public to inform them of South Africa’s growth through mining of gold and
diamonds, as well as providing information on the involvement of the De Beers
throughout South Africa’s growth.

 

Value

This article is highly useful as
it focuses and dives into depth and detail of the history of mining in South
Africa of gold as well as diamonds.  It
also provides great detail on the De Beers Mining Company Ltd. It is
relevant as it provides information on how Gauteng has become an industrial
area through its natural minerals.

Reliability

The article does not provide the
name of the author so it is unclear as to whether the information provided is
dependable or consistent. Thus the reliability of the article is unclear and
could not be reputable.

 

Limitations

This article is lengthy and takes a
while to read through. Public audiences could quickly become overwhelmed with
information and stop reading the article. 
However, audiences looking for in depth history and information are more
suited to this article.