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 Form 1 Geography Online Lessons on Mining

In this lesson we are going to learn about the processing of diamond in South Africa and the benefits to the economy

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Answer Text:
Diamond Mining in South Africa
-Diamond is the hardest known substance.
-Mined in Kimberly, Bloemfontein and Alexander Bay.
-Mined by underground mining or alluvial mining.
Processing
• Diamond bearing kimberlite is crushed
• Crushed rock is mixed with water
• Diamond sinks to the bottom as it’s denser
• Water and less dense residue are drained off
• Remaining material is put on heavily greased trays and washed
• Diamond repels water so it sticks to grease while remnants are drained off
• Diamonds are then sorted out and graded into gem diamonds and industrial type (for cutting purposes).
Contribution to the Economy
1. Provides employment to thousands of people
2. Earns the country substantial foreign exchange
3. Has led to growth of urban centres e.g. Pretoria and Kimberly.
4. Has contributed to development of infrastructure
Problems Facing Diamond Mining
1. Fluctuation in the world market prices
2. High cost of mining and processing diamond
3. Depletion of mines
4. Low mineral in the ore making mining expensive
5. Labour competition with other sectors e.g. manufacturing and gold mining


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