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Jade Davenport

Jade Davenport

DAVENPORT, MA (UCT), is a freelance journalist and historian – jade@engineeringnews.co.za

Settlement likely by year-end as parties in silicosis case pursue out-of-court option

5th May 2017 Mining companies facing a class action suit from mineworkers who developed silicosis on South Africa’s gold mines are expected to reach an out-of-court settlement before the close of the year. The class action, which was lodged in May 2016, comprises, according to attorney Richard Spoor, an... 

Settlement likely by year-end as parties in silicosis case pursue out-of-court option

5th May 2017 Mining companies facing a class action suit from mineworkers who developed silicosis on South Africa's gold mines, are anticipated to reach an out of court settlement before the close of the year. The class action, which was lodged in May 2016, comprises, according to attorney Richard Spoor, an... 

‘Decolonising’ South Africa’s mining history

14th April 2017 If there is one thing South African mining historians, myself included, have been guilty of, it is the tendency to focus on, and perpetuate, the 'colonial-esque' history of the industry. The common history begins in the latter half of the nineteenth century, a time when white colonialists were... 

A perspective on the colonialism debate

31st March 2017 Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's recent tweets espousing the opinion that the legacy of colonialism was not only negative has sparked significant outrage and debate amongst South Africans of all ages and races. Now, that is a kind of debate that most sensible people would not touch with a barge... 

Gold mining in Swaziland

24th March 2017 There are indications that gold mining and production in our neighbour, Swaziland, is undergoing a resurgence after decades of near-dormant activity. The reopening of the Lufafa gold mine, near Pigg's Peak, at the beginning of 2016 has been succeeded by the recent award of a ten-year mining lease... 

Setting the record straight on discovery of diamonds

24th February 2017 , South Africa's mining history is tainted with a multitude of misconceptions, fallacies and misnomers. One of the most glaring is the notion that the Eureka Diamond, the 'first' precious stone to be discovered in South Africa, was found during the course of 1867. Indeed, this fallacy has become... 

Who’s who of Pilgrim’s Rest gold rush published

27th January 2017 The most fascinating aspect of South Africa’s mining history, in my humble opinion, is the diamond and gold rush era of the 1870s and 1880s, when any man with a bit of luck could make his fortune by a swirl of a sluice pan. This period is filled with some of the most outlandish and compelling... 

A cateador’s hunt for gold in South America

16th December 2016 It was inevitable that the excitement of the Californian, Australian and South African gold rushes would spur the search for an ‘El Dorado’ in other localities across the globe. However, such was the scale and significance of these rushes that details of most of the prospecting activities and... 

The forgotten gold rush at the foot of Natal’s ‘Table Mountain’

2nd December 2016 Without a doubt, the early 1850s was a great time for anyone with an adventurous spirit, a desire for fortune and capacity for hard labour. The whole world, it seemed, had been swept up in an unprecedented gold frenzy, following the era-changing auriferous discoveries in California and Australia,... 

Peter Sutherland – SA’s first government geologist

18th November 2016 There are two main reasons why geology was vigorously pursued in the various colonies during the nineteenth century. Firstly, the study of the ancient environment fostered an impression of the colonies as primitive places that were inferior to Europe. This led to the development of theories of... 

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