Kimberley is the home of De Beers Consolidated Diamond Mines, some of the world’s richest diamond mines, and it is still considered to be the capital of the world’s diamond industry.
As the centre for the diamond fever of the late 19th century it foundations began to be dug in 1871 when a diamond was found on a small hill called Colesberg Koppie. Digging began and only a few months later more than 30 000 men were frantically excavating for diamonds in an area covering 300m by 200m. They made short work of the hill and soon plunged down into the earth to a depth of 1100 metres to create what came to be known simply as the ‘Big Hole’. 28 million tons of dirt was removed, yielding 14.5 million carats of diamonds and resulting in the creation of the largest manmade hole in the world. It was here that the famous Star of Africa was found, a magnificent 83.5 carat diamond.
Horrific living and working conditio… Read More