Diamond mine, South Africa 1871

Diamond mine, South Africa 1871

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Diamond mining, South Africa, 1871. In 1866 a diamond was found near Hopetown, Northern Cape Province, and in 1869 a larger diamond, known as the Star of Africa, was found and initiated the South African Diamond Rush. Prospectors arrived from all over the world and diamond digging began in several areas. Exploitation of black workers by white prospectors was common. The largest area of excavation, seen here with walkways running between deep trenches, became the Kimberley Mine, later nicknamed The Big Hole . It was located on farmland which was owned by the De Beers brothers, who gave their name to the company which later came to dominate the diamond industry.

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