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Quartz causes diamond fever in a South African village

Quartz causes diamond fever in a South African village

In the village of Kawahati in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, thousands of fortune seekers have gathered after pictures of diamond-like quarried stones surfaced on social media. After tests, it turned out to be quartz – of little value.

Bad news for the nearly 3,000 diamond seekers who have disembarked in the South African village of Kawahati in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. Tests clearly showed that the stones in the area are not diamonds, but quartz. The value of quartz has yet to be determined, but compared to diamonds it will be close to zero, said Ravi Pillai, a member of the province’s Economic Development and Tourism Board.

The fact that so many fortune seekers – mostly unemployed people – flocked to the village hopelessly points to a major underlying problem. South Africa has a lot of unemployed people. The eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal has the second highest numbers in the country.

Meanwhile, only 500 people were still digging. The county government is hoping they will leave now, too, not just because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus. The damage is significant due to many potholes. About 50 hectares of land are covered with pits up to one meter deep, which poses a danger to livestock.

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