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South Africa’s Small-Scale Diamond Mining Dilemma

South Africa's junior diamond miners are struggling for survival. Executives are left frustrated as they try to tap into the full potential of their alluvial deposits along the lucrative Orange River. They believe these deposits still have decades of production available which could provide jobs for communities in rural areas where employment can be as rare as the diamonds which happen to be buried in their soil. 


But prohibitive regulations and costly compliance are blocking progress. That is leading to untimely closures, and stress among the country's talented mine operators, and the local communities with which they engage. 


I had the opportunity to visit some of the sites and meet the wonderful people working there during my recent trip to South Africa. I explore their challenges and seemingly missed opportunities.


Initially published in the February Rapaport Research Report, read the full analysis here


Image and illustration by David Polak & Elisé Jurkovic (Rapaport).

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