South Africa

News24.com | Ladysmith stones are quartz crystals and not diamonds, experts find

The stones that set off a "diamond rush" in KwaHlathi are not diamonds

Hundreds of people descended on the site near Ladysmith last week hoping to strike it rich. 

A technical team found the stones were actually quartz crystals.

"The tests conducted conclusively reveals that the stones discovered in the area are not diamonds as some had hoped," said KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development MEC Ravi Pillay. 

"What was discovered are quartz crystals commonly associated with the Karoo supergroup," he added. 

The value of the crystals is yet to be established, but it is relatively low compared to diamonds.

WATCH | Heavy police presence at Ladysmith 'diamond' hunt site

The hill in KwaHlathi, about 40km from Ladysmith, turned into a hive of activity almost overnight last weekend. 

A delegation made up of geo-scientists and government officials travelled to the village that sprang up to see whether the claims were true. 

There was also concerns the "diamond rush" could turn into a Covid-19 superspreader event. 

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