Why the KwaHlathi crystals may not be worth any value
Just when residents of a small, poor village in KwaZulu-Natal had thought their fortunes had changed after 'striking it lucky" with the discovery of what they thought were diamonds, their joy was short-lived.
A team of mining experts has found the stones discovered in KwaHlathi, near Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal are not diamonds but in fact quartz-crystals.
Social media and news had been abuzz with news of the discovery over the past couple of weeks after the first stones were found by a herdsman.
A team of experts was sent by Premier Sihle Zikalala to examine the stones. KZN MEC for Economic Development Ravi Pillay reported the disappointing news back to the public on Sunday.
Clement Manyathela speaks to Dr Taufeeq Dhansay, Manager for Minerals and Energy Unit at the Council for Geoscience, on the 702 Open Line about their findings on the stones.
We went down to KwaHlathi last week Tuesday and we started to do a preliminary investigation, and just to add on, when you look at the geological region settings, you find that it's actually close to the southern edge of what we call the carpal crater. Now this geological feature, as it were, is quite important for controlling the formation of diamonds. So, it wasn't inconceivable that peole found diamonds which is why it was quite important for us to go there.Dr Taufeeq Dhansay, Manager for Minerals and Energy Unit at the Council for Geoscience
What we found was that... the actual location where people were digging was actually on the edge of what we call a dolomite source... and along the edge of the soil there's a valiant where you basically form these quartz crystals. So, the quartz crystals are actually quite common in these types of environments...Dr Taufeeq Dhansay, Manager for Minerals and Energy Unit at the Council for Geoscience
He explains that for crystals to be worth much value, they need to look a certain way, which wasn't the case with the KwaHlathi version...
In general, we did not find people finding these perfectly-formed crystals and in terms of the clarity, they have to be very, very clear... it should be a perfectly clear crystal.Dr Taufeeq Dhansay, Manager for Minerals and Energy Unit at the Council for Geoscience
Listen to the full interview below...