JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The discovery of alluvial diamonds in the unique secondary deposits of the Middle Orange River downstream of Hopetown in South Africa in 1867 was the catalyst that initiated the development of the mining industry in Southern Africa.
But compared with its heyday between the 1990s and early 2000s, today’s junior diamond mining sector is but a shadow of its former self, says the South African Diamond Producers Organisation (Sadpo) deputy chairperson Lyndon De Meillon.
Independent studies have shown that the sector has shrunk by 90% over the past 20 years, mainly because of poor legislation and over-regulation.
Now, Sadpo is making an urgent plea to government to allow it to use wonderful new technology to resuscitate itself and simultaneously relieve desperate unemployment in a number of areas where alluvial diamond mining by juniors is struggling intensely.
All that is needed is recognition of the unique nature of this mining and the removal of red tape, Mining Weekly can report.