The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) says it is aware of stories in the media, including images and videos that are circulating on social media, about the purported discovery of diamonds in KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal.
The DMRE is dispatching a task team comprising geological and mining experts to the area to determine the veracity of the stories and to conduct a proper inspection of the site, and of what has been discovered in the area, it notes.
The teams will be on site from June 15 and will include the department’s enforcement and compliance unit, experts from Mintek and the Council for Geoscience who can opine on matters of the mineral composition of rocks and can provide an analysis of an area's potential for mineral resources.
It also includes the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator as the custodian of all matters related to precious minerals in the country.
The teams are en-route to the site to collect samples and analysis will be conducted and a formal technical report will be issued in due course.
The DMRE says it is also working with relevant authorities and stakeholders, including the traditional communities, traditional leadership and the local and district municipalities to bring calm to the area and ensure relevant information is communicated to affected communities to address the matter as speedily as possible.
“The Department joins the Office of the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal in calling for calm and patience while the task team conducts its preliminary investigations.
"The DMRE also requests all those involved to stop their operations and leave the site to allow the DMRE to conduct a proper inspection without any hindrances,” it states.