Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Big Hole, South Africa, possible UNESCO site??

Ok my friends its time to bid farewell to Cape Town.

Princess has the map of South Africa in her hand......and she wants to see the place with off we go to
The Big Hole, Open Mine or Kimberley Mine, an open-pit mine in Kimberley (,_Northern_Cape) in the Northern Cape Province.

The first diamonds here were found on Colesberg Kopje by members of the "Red Cap Party" from Colesberg on the farm Vooruitzigt belonging to the De Beers brothers; the ensuing scramble for claims led to the place being called New Rush, later renamed Kimberley.

From mid-July 1871 to 1914 up to 50,000 miners dug the hole with picks and shovels, yielding 2,720 kilograms (6,000 lb) of diamonds!!!

The Big Hole has a surface of 17 hectares (42 acres) and is 463 metres (1,520 ft) wide.

It was excavated to a depth of 240 metres (790 ft), but then partially infilled with debris reducing its depth to about 215 metres (710 ft) since then it has accumulated about 40 metres (130 ft) of water, leaving 175 metres (570 ft) of the hole visible.

Once above-ground operations became too dangerous and unproductive, the kimberlite pipe of the Kimberley Mine was also mined underground by Cecil Rhodes' De Beers company to a depth of 1,097 metres (3,600 ft).

Hey Marti, did you know that it is one of the largest holes excavated by hand??

Guess what Sita?? There is currently an effort in progress to register the Big Hole as a World Heritage Site.

Well, this is the site of the first great 19th Century African mineral find consisting primarily of a large, hand dug crater created by the removal of diamond bearing Kimberlite ore.

The mine, no longer operational, is where the industrial revolution came to Africa in the 1870s and is the spark that led to the so-called 'Scramble for Africa'.

Capital generated by the richest diamond deposit ever, was crucial to development of the Southern African industrial complex, notably gold mining and Johannesburg.

Kimberley capital also directly shaped Zambia and Zimbabwe and determined the political history of the sub-continent in many other ways.

The Kimberley Mine saw the establishment of the first large, industrial city in Southern Africa and its location determined communications routes on the sub-continent and led to the creation of several modern ports.

Its situation in an arid, sparsely populated region is at the origins of the migrant labor system that came to be used throughout Southern Africa and still influences patterns of economic development and movement of population.

The discovery of the Kimberley Mine moved the centre of the diamond industry from Brazil to Africa, where it remains, and led to the establishment of De Beers Consolidated Mines and with it the system according to which the modern diamond industry is managed and its viability protected.

Hey Nopi, did you hear of the famous diamond called The Kimberley??

It is a Flawless, 70-carat, step cut, champagne-colored diamond that was found in the Kimberley Mine, South Africa.

It was re cut into this modern shape in in 1921 from a large, flat stone that was once in the Russian Crown Jewels.

In 1958, the stone was again re cut by it's owners, Baumgold Bros., New York City, to improve the proportions and increase brilliancy.

It now weighs 55.09 carats and is valued by the firm at $500,000, but is probably worth considerably more.

Baumgold Bros. sold the stone in 1971 to an undisclosed collector.......

Aaaah, wouldn't all us girls like to have one of those??????

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