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High Potential in Kimberley Mine Dumps

History of the Kimberley Diamond Fields

South Africa’s first diamond was found in 1866 in the Northern Province, along the Orange River banks. Following the discovery of the diamond, there was a extensive diamond rush, with thousands of hopeful prospectors flooding the area in search of alluvial diamonds along the river’s banks as well as by the banks of the nearby Vaal River.

Within a few years, several large diamonds were found, among them one located on a farm called Jagersfontein, which later became a famous diamond mine. After a number of discoveries, the area became known as Beaconsfield, which is today a suburb of Kimberley. One year after the discovery of the Jagersfontein diamond, the Kimberley and De Beers pipes were discovered nearby Bultfontein, and similar discoveries were made at farms such as Benaauwheidsfontein, Dorstfontein and Vooruitzicht. A fifth was found 20 years later, known as the Wesselton pipe.

While the pipes were initially worked by individuals, as the depth of the digging increased a more effective solution became necessary. In 1888 the De Beers Consolidated Mines came into being, under ownership of Cecil John Rhodes, a combination of the Kimberley and De Beers Mines.

In 1897, the rights to dig the Kimberley Mines were bought by a new company – Kimberley Mining Limited (KML). They mined until 1914, using a method known as opencast pit mining. This continued until World War I, in 1914. After the war ended in 1918, the mine was simply maintained for the next 8 years. At that point De Beers Consolidated took charge, but other than a few samplings of the mine’s contents, once in the 1950s and again in the 1980s, the mine has lain dormant. In 2002, the New Diamond Corporation (NDC) took control, but without funding the dumps and the mine became available. Today the Meepo Investment Consortium, part of the New African mining operations, has the rights to both the Caravan Park Dumps and the Kamfersdam Dumps of the Kimberley mines.

Town of Kimberley

Kimberley itself was established in 1871 following the diamond discoveries, and the town’s growth was largely as a result of the various mines built in the surrounding area. The town is named after kimberlite rocks – geologic volcanic rock formations that occur in vertical pipes, and which contain diamonds. Over time, the formations erode and the diamonds are carried downstream by rivers and streams to collect in alluvial diamond deposits. Not all kimberlites contain diamonds, and of those found not all are of sufficient quality or quantity to attract interest. However the alluvial diamonds found are usually of higher quality than those found inside the kimberlite pipes – because by the time the alluvial diamonds are discovered in their riverbed locations, low quality stones have been destroyed by the river’s current and only high quality stones remain.

One of the world’s premier areas for diamond mining, the Kimberley area is known today globally by members of the industry. It is nearly 500 km from Johannesburg and nearly 1,000 km from Cape Town.

Abandoned Mine Dumps

Today, in the area surrounding Kimberley there are a number of abandoned mine dumps that may have economic potential. Three of those dumps are: The Caravan Park dumps, the Kamfersdam dumps and the Eddie Williams Oval dumps. The Kimberley Municipality owns the mining rights to these areas, which they hope to turn one day into low-cost housing. Diamond Recovery can be carried out at the plant which is secured, and has both water and electricity. There is a perfect area for disposing of tailings. Kimberley’s infrastructure means it can be easily reached by airplane, railway or other means of public transport, a great boon to mining the area.

Reliability of Reports

While surveying has been done of late, it is not easy to judge the reliability of the resultant report. Primarily, both tailings and waste material have been dumped together, making the grades somewhat unreliable and although samples were taken from certain areas, the grades in other areas not tested could be vastly different. Today’s successful diamond recoveries from the Kimberley tailing dumps could be indicative of poor techniques used initially in the diamond recovery plants of the previous century. Another possible explanation is that previously the material was ground too coarsely and the smaller stones were not released or that the poorer graded material was dumped along with the tailings. As an experienced investor in New Africa Mining, I would say that this material’s diamonds, through the processes of weathering, have been released and are turning up in great quantities, also increasing the number of diamonds being recovered.

Caravan Park dumps

West of the Kimberly Mine Museum, these dumps hold material originally mined from the Kimberley mine – one of the biggest mines that existed as the 19th century drew to a close – from 1871 until 1914. The diggers mined to an ultimate depth of 1,097 meters. The caravan park sits on top of material that is between 1 and 2 meters thick, and as it contains some 595,000 tons of tailings, graded 9 cpht, there are approximately 53,550 carats worth of total diamonds located in the grounds here, with the largest diamond recovered from this dump so far weighing in at nearly 23 carats. In 2005, the dumps were mined for a total of 187 days and 1,122 hours. A total of 74,800 tons were mined and 4,874.28 carats were recovered at an average grade of 6.7 cpht. Estimates are that some 42% of the original dump material exists, which means that there is extraordinary potential for mining and a great return on the investment it will require to bring these mines to a fully active working state.

Kamfersdam dumps

Some six kilometers north of Kimberley, the Kamfersdam dumps hold material from the Kamfersdam mine, first discovered in 1880 and mined until 1914, when World War I broke out. By that time it had been mined to 104 meters deep. The Kamfersdam tailings dumps are all situated next to the abandoned Kamfersdam Mine north of Kimberley. The historically head grade of Kamfersdam was 28 carats per 100 tons (cpht). The two tailings of this dump total 5.2 meters or 5.4 million tons of tailings, which means there are an inferred.63 million total carats at 12 cpht. If 1 million tons are mined here per year, there should be another 4 – 6 years in which to make use of this resource. Despite the 12 cpht inferred, it is actually quite difficult to ascertain the grade of the material located in this dump, though it can be used for now. It will be important to discover the actual grade, as well as the average value per diamond carat – especially if it is to be compared with the diamonds found in the Caravan Park dumps so that a true estimate of its economic value can be ascertained. Over the next 4-6 years,mining these dumps should be an extremely lucrative venture, well worth the investment and a reliable source of income and investment return.

Eddie Williams Oval dumps

Some 3 kilometers north of Kimberley, these are a number of dumps that have very few resources left inside and are not worth discussing much further, so this paper will refrain from providing any more details at this stage.

Book Review – Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer

A very extraordinary plot which will keep you glued on the edge of the seat and a thrilling experience to go along with the author and the characters as if you are just one amongst them. Jeffrey Archer is one such author who would take you along with him right from the beginning introducing the characters in such a manner that by the end of the story, you would really know these characters and be a part of this well planned and superbly woven story. Worth the time you spend reading this novel, the best I have read in quite a long time. I would recommend this to anyone and it will surely be listed in your favorites.

The Story begins with the introduction of the main character Harvey Metcalfe as a 16 yr old messenger boy in the Stock Exchange. In a matter of time, he is quick to comprehend the ups and downs in the stock market and he takes a leap into his first venture successfully. At the age of 19, he makes his first million and there is no stopping for Harvey Metcalfe, the super mind.

The plot begins with Harvey making his money on the innocent and honest men trying their luck in shares. Harvey puts some shares into a company Prospecta Oil of which his friend is the director and with the help of his friends puts word into the market that they have found an oil dig somewhere in the north sea. David Kesler, an innocent Harvard graduate, is lured into this job who markets well for Prospecta oil. David brings in money from Stephen, Robin, Jean-Pierre and Lord James Brigsley who are the scape goats in Prospecta Oil. Little do they know about the stock market and believing David they fall trap to Harvey’s plans who sweeps off their feet without leaving any clue.

The four led by Stephen, come together to plan a revenge on Harvey and to get back the money they lost without Harvey’s knowledge. Stephen makes a thorough investigation about the history of Harvey Metcalfe, his work, routine, holidays, family etc. and prepares 4 copies of dossier.

All four agree to meet in 14 days time, with a plan of their own matching their caliber and profession in order to get back the 1 million dollars plus the interest and expenses spent in the imminent future, ‘Not a Penny Less, Not a Penny More.’ They also make a pact to keep confidentiality and each character is included to fulfill in the other’s plan.

The first step is led by Jean Pierre who is an artist by profession and has various painting exhibitions. Harvey’s weakness for a Van Gogh Painting is the stepping stone to their plan. All four make arrangements for converting Harvey’s vacation into a well- thought scheme to lead him to a Van Gogh Painting which of course is a replica of the original, but very convincingly they sell it to him for 1,70,000 pounds.

The second research is done by Robin who is a doctor by profession. He has a complete training prearranged for the other three to fulfill the requirements of his plan from knowing the medical necessities, playing blackjack and casino games and record timing to beat the traffic. All of them excel in their roles to beat Harvey again by making him believe that he has a gall bladder stone and in need of an emergency operation, save his life for a huge sum of 1,50,000 dollars.

Then comes the mastermind Stephen who is a mathematics professor and his calculations lead Harvey into Oxford university meeting with the chancellor and vice-chancellor and honouring him with the Doctorate of Letters, encashes another sum of 2,50,000 dollars.

Meanwhile, Lord James Brigsley who considers himself no good in any profession, lands up dating a girl Anne Summerton and confides in her about the secret mission they are on to avenge Harvey Metcalfe. To his utter revelation, he finds that Anne Summerton is the daughter of Harvey who is called as Anne Rosalie Metcalfe. He is astounded when he discovers that Harvey couldn’t recognize James as he was in a disguise in all the three missions. James invites Stephen, Robin and Jean pierre to his wedding, before the final mission which he is yet to disclose. At the wedding, they get a bolt from the blue when Harvey steps aside to give away his daughter in the church to Lord James Brigsley. They go unnoticed by Harvey and finally he presents the wedding gift to his daughter a cheque of 2,50,000 dollars which she signs off to Stephen from the 4th mission.

The author has reserved so many climax situations and has put forth each and every event in such a manner that the reader can feel his goose bumps and will surely forego everything around to know what happens next!!! Jeffrey Archer has all the details and settings established in a very unique style, giving significance to the planning which truly is the winner in the mastermind narrative.

They are all glad about their accomplishments when they stumble upon the news of Prospecta oil which has found an oil dig and the shares seem to have reached $12.75.

Jeffrey Archer is an extraordinary mind who has shown the significance of planning and he has narrated such a fine story that the reader is bound to be a part of it. It surely returns every penny you spent on the book and the time you splurge reading this wonderful tale. It has now become one of my favorites.