Department to inspect 'diamond rush' site in KwaZulu-Natal

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The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy will dispatch a task team to verify reports of a diamond rush in a village in KZN. (iStock)
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy will dispatch a task team to verify reports of a diamond rush in a village in KZN. (iStock)

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) will dispatch a task team to verify reports of a diamond rush in a village in KwaZulu-Natal.

The department on Monday issued a statement about media reports regarding the discovery of diamonds in the KwaHlathi village, outside Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal.

"The DMRE is dispatching a task team comprising of geological and mining experts to the area to determine the veracity of the stories and to conduct a proper inspection of the site, and of what has been discovered in the area," the statement read.

Over the weekend The Witness newspaper reported that images and videos were circulating on social media, of those involved in illegal mining activity celebrating after finding precious stones.

The DMRE's teams will be on the site from Tuesday, 15 June. The department's Enforcement and Compliance unit will conduct an inspection of the site. They will be accompanied by experts from Mintek (the Council for Mineral Technology), the Council for Geoscience, and the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, the department said.

"The teams are en route to the site to collect samples and analysis will be conducted, and a formal technical report will be issued in due course," the statement read.

The department has asked those involved to stop their operations, to allow it to do the inspection. It also called for "calm and patience" as the task team conducts its work.

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