Is it diamonds or crystal quartz? KwaHlathi residents continue to dig for more

Bongani Bingwa talks to experts about the ramifications of whether his diamonds really are and what diamonds look like.

The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy has sent a team of experts to KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal, where residents have found diamonds.

Over the weekend, videos and photos appeared on social media showing a group of people digging for diamonds.

On Monday, KwaZulu-Natal Prime Minister Sihle Zikalala called for calm, urging people to suspend their activities to allow government officials to conduct an appropriate inspection.

Questions have arisen as to whether these are really diamonds or crystals and what are the implications for the community if these are really diamonds.

Bongani Bingwa spoke with Benchmarks Foundation senior researcher David van Wyk and geologist Dr. Gideon Groenewald about the discovery.

If they found diamonds, I don’t think they were so lucky, because the 1986 government act, amended in 1995, mainly states that if you do find diamonds, you have no right to keep them.

David van Wyck, Senior Researcher – Benchmark Foundation

It is illegal to find a rough diamond, you will have to hand it over to the nearest police station. You cannot own a rough diamond unless you have a license to mine or explore. So, in principle, these people will be classified as illegal miners.

David van Wyck, Senior Researcher – Benchmark Foundation

Van Wick says that if these are really real diamonds, people in the area will be relocated from the area.

The photos shared on social media discuss whether these are real diamonds or crystals.

Geologist Dr. Gideon Gronewald says he can’t tell if the photos are real or not.

It is very difficult for a layman to distinguish between a diamond and a quartz crystal and both shine. The big thing is diamonds cut much better than quartz.

Dr. Gideon Gronewald, geologist

If you use pliers to try to break a quartz crystal, it will be harder to break it than a diamond.

Dr. Gideon Gronewald, geologist

Listen to the full interview below …

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