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Jade Davenport

Jade Davenport

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

Columnist - Digging Deep

The discovery of South Africa’s first four kimberlite pipes

By: Jade Davenport     11th June 2010 The initial phase of South Africa’s diamond rush, which saw ten thousand prospectors converge on the Vaal River between 1869 and 1870, proved a failure scarcely one year into operation.  

A question of sovereignty over South Africa’s earliest diamond diggings

By: Jade Davenport     28th May 2010 In 1870 ten thousand hopeful Boer, British, American, Australian, and European prospectors rushed to South Africa’s Vaal River intent on making their fortunes from diamonds.  

South Africa’s early diamond rush

By: Jade Davenport     7th May 2010 The year 1869 marked a significant turning point in the history of South Africa for it was in that year that the 83½ carat Star of South Africa diamond, the rock upon which the economic success of South Africa was built, was discovered close to the banks of the Vaal River.  

The rock upon which South Africa’s success was built

By: Jade Davenport     23rd April 2010 The role that the discovery of diamonds played in the economic and industrial development of South Africa is unquestionable and has been given its necessary dues in various histories.  

Eureka – South Africa has diamonds!

By: Jade Davenport     9th April 2010 The year 1866 marked a phenomenal turning point in the history of South Africa for it was in that year the first diamond, the famous 21¼ carat Eureka Diamond, was discovered in the vicinity of the Orange River.  

The Port Nolloth railway – SA's first large-scale industrial infrastructure

By: Jade Davenport     19th March 2010 One of the greatest challenges that has and continues to influence the profitable exploitation of South Africa’s mineral resources is the distance of those natural commodities from a market. 

Nepotism – an age-old phenomenon in South African politics

By: Jade Davenport     5th March 2010 As media headlines have, again, been dominated by allegations of nepotism and corruption by a public figure, it is opportune to point out that the unethical relationship between politics and business interests is not a phenomenon unique to postapartheid South Africa. 

Cape Town’s copper mania and the quest for immediate, extraordinary wealth

By: Jade Davenport     19th February 2010 South Africa’s historiography has given much eminence to diamonds and gold and the way in which these precious commodities influenced the South African economy over the last 140 years. 

SA’s first mining legislation

By: Jade Davenport     5th February 2010 The 1850s marked a significant milestone for South Africa’s mining industry as it was in this decade that commercial interest in mining was firmly established, and that the country’s first mining legislation was introduced. 

A brief history of SA’s first mining company

By: Jade Davenport     22nd January 2010 It is a little-known fact that South Africa’s very first commercial mining company was, in fact, established in 1846. 

Van der Stel’s journey to the copper mountains of Namaqualand

By: Jade Davenport     4th December 2009 The initial attempts to discover valuable metals and minerals in the Cape of Good Hope in the mid-seventeenth century proved largely unsuccessful. 

Van Riebeeck and SA’s first documented search for minerals 

By: Jade Davenport     20th November 2009 A historical examination of the early mining history of South Africa may seem to have no practical value today, but when one reads documents from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, one is impressed with the early settlers’ zeal for geological exploration and with their understanding of the... 

Palabora makes the grade

By: andrew lanham     20th August 2004 Taking the pioneering route is never easy. When it made the transition from openpit to underground mine, Palabora Mining Company (PMC) in the Limpopo Province pioneered the block-caving technique in South Africa. 

A cropper owing to copper

28th June 2002 What is it with the price of copper that it plumbs such terribly low depths? 

Turning on Zambian promises

21st June 2002 There was something quite tragic about Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa’s suggestion at the World Economic Forum meeting earlier this month 

Gold rush and world crisis

7th June 2002 In the late 1800s, after gold was found in the Witwatersrand, there was a dusty dash for cash. 

Got SETS, let’s go, or is it so?

31st May 2002 It was the gold rush that created the JSE Securities Exchange and it is gold that is buoying it as the London Stock Exchange’s SETS system is brought into play by the JSE to give new wings to local trading. 

New gold on our doorstep

24th May 2002 Old gold on the East Rand, yes, but the chances of a new virgin gold-mine in the land of the old Rand were as remote a few months ago as Timbuktu. 

The hedge gets on edge

17th May 2002 AngloGold – to cut its open hedge book by 1,7-million ounces to 12,9-million ounces in the March quarter. 

Safety crackdown promised

10th May 2002 Minerals and Energy Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has made mine safety a top priority, and rightly so. 

Iron-ore rights spat

3rd May 2002 The State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and mining company Stimela are arm-wrestling over the sale by Stimela of its 10,5% holding in Kumba to Anglo American. 

Beware ditch on other side

26th April 2002 The only problem with hedging is that there is invariably a ditch on the other side, a wiseguy has pointed out. 

On a collision course

19th April 2002 Hope Downs and Mine Area C, or MAC as it is being dubbed, are both being called to account Down Under in Australia. 

Gold bull dismisses gold bear

12th April 2002 The rampaging gold bull has sent the bears packing. 

X marks the spot

5th April 2002 Xstrata is the new X factor in diversified mining. 

Famous last words

29th March 2002 Avmin says it won’t be swallowed up by London-domiciled Anglo American - 

SA sets up its mining store

22nd March 2002 Minerals and Energy Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is using the foreign media to publicise the looming new deal for foreign mining investors in South Africa. 

Hitting the golden jackpot

8th March 2002 Gold Fields’ MD Ian Cockerill’s stomach was apparently in his throat last Saturday 

Beginning to look easy

1st March 2002 Gold is beginning to scale the $300/oz hurdle with greater and greater ease. 

Locals caught napping

22nd February 2002 The local yokels can’t spot a good investment even if it is right under their noses 

Gold bear gets lynched

15th February 2002 The gold bear is dead; long live gold bug Merrill Lynch, which predicts an average gold price of $280/oz in 2002, $290/oz in 2003, $300/oz in 2004 and $325/oz in 2005. 

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