Illegal mining booms in Kimberley – by Murray Swart (Independent Online -September 6, 2016)

Kimberley – The number of illegal miners next to the road to Boshof has multiplied into the thousands as desperate community members converge on the outskirts of Kimberley in search of their fortune.

In September 2014, hundreds of miners started setting up their own diamond mining operations in the area after they were apparently kicked out of a neighbouring De Beers mining site just outside the city.

At the time, the men claimed that they had been legally digging between Samaria Road and the Kimberley Caravan Park for around two years until a dispute over payment forced them to occupy other property, where they are now mining illegally. The number of illegal miners in the area has now swelled to thousands and more arrive almost every day.

Yesterday, exactly two years to the day since the situation was highlighted in the DFA, more illegal mining than ever before is taking place with some of the miners claiming that the mining giant itself is their best customer. Speaking on condition of anonymity, several miners yesterday indicated that there were still plenty of diamonds to be mined in the area.

However, with the arrival of more competition, more land is being occupied by impromptu excavations, resulting in thousands of illegal diamond diggers sifting through gravel on both sides of the Boshof road, as far out as the De Beers Treatment Plant (DTP) and into the suburbs of Cassandra and De Beers.

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