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Columnist: Digging Deep

Davenport is a freelance journalist and mining historian -


Digging Deep - Jade Davenport

South Africa’s first school of mines Restricted

One of the main consequences of the advent of the mineral revolution, which was prompted by the development and rapid growth of Kimberley’s diamond mining industry in the late nineteenth century, was the introduction of a mining skills education...
28th October 2011
Digging Deep - Jade Davenport

Barney Barnato, a social pariah Restricted

From its very establishment, the Kimberley Club was an exclusive, highly-vetted Gentleman’s Club.
7th October 2011
Digging Deep - Jade Davenport

The Kimberley Club, sanctuary of the diamond magnates Restricted

The city of Kimberley has, over its’ 140-year history, become synonymous with all aspects of South Africa’s mining and industrial heritage: it was the birthplace of diamondiferous kimberlite mining and subsequently became the birthplace of modern...
16th September 2011
Digging Deep - Jade Davenport

The Big Hole and the Kimberley Mine Museum Restricted

One of South Africa’s premier tourist attractions of historical and mining importance is the Big Hole and Kimberley Mine Museum.
2nd September 2011
Digging Deep - Jade Davenport

Barkly-West Museum a repository of information on early diamond mining Restricted

South Africa has a vibrant and steadily-growing tourist industry catering for every tourism niche, from paleo-, eco- and cultural tourism through to adventure, sport and business-tourism.
12th August 2011
Digging Deep - Jade Davenport

Kimberley’s demeaning closed compound system Restricted

In 1885, fifteen years after diamonds were first mined at Kimberley, mining companies began to introduce a system of closed compounding to house their black labour force.
22nd July 2011
Digging Deep - Jade Davenport

Gardner Williams: the technical wizard behind diamond mines consolidation Restricted

The objective of establishing the world’s greatest diamond mining monopoly was accomplished because there were men of vision, daring, and great financial genius who willed it to be achieved.
1st July 2011
Digging Deep - Jade Davenport

Alfred Beit – Kimberley’s financial genius Restricted

The story of the amalgamation of the Kimberley diamond mines under De Beers Consolidated Mines in the late 1880s has largely been dominated by the captivating characters of Cecil Rhodes and Barney Barnato.
10th June 2011
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