Treasures of the Diamond Coast. A Century of Diamond Mining in Namibia, by Gabi Schneider

Treasures of the Diamond Coast. A Century of Diamond Mining in Namibia, by Gabi Schneider. ISBN 9789991609683

Treasures of the Diamond Coast. A Century of Diamond Mining in Namibia, by Gabi Schneider. ISBN 9789991609683

Introduction by Gabi Schneider: The world's largest diamond placer deposit, consisting almost entirely of gem-quality stones, occurs in Namibia. Consequently, the country has developed into one of the leading diamond-mining countries in the world, and its importance for the gem diamond trade cannot be overemphasised.

For the past century, human endeavour and technological innovation have played a leading role in diamond mining in Namibia, and have shaped the country's economy and society like no other sector of the Namibian mining industry. I therefore felt that the 100th anniversary of the first diamond find presented a unique opportunity to compile a comprehensive historical review of developments and events in the Namibian diamond-mining industry, in particular since no such an all-embracing attempt has been made to date. Industrial and building heritage within Namibia's diamond areas is slowly but surely succumbing to the forces of nature, and thus needed to be documented urgently. Much of the intangible heritage has already been lost, as only few people who witnessed the early days are still available to tell of their experiences. Moreover, countless old documents are written in the old German Sütterlin, a script which is a closed book to most. This situation called for a speedy stocktake of what is still available. Quotations from old German texts were translated as accurately as possible. Where appropriate, I left German words, but flagged them in italics. German names that are no longer in use and other non-English words are also italicised. Location names are given in their historical context, e.g. the name Lüderitzbucht is used before 1920, while the town is referred to as Lüderitz after that. I have tried to research peoples' names as accurately as possible; in some instances however, only surnames were available. The compilation of this book would not have been possible without the help of many people. I am indebted to Gunter von Schumann for intensive research in various archives, most notably the National Archives of Namibia and that of the Namibia Scientific Society. Extensive field investigations were carried out by a dedicated team of people, with whom I covered the entire area between Bogenfels and Walvis Bay in a number of challenging field-trips which included high dunes and their slip faces, an almost endless number of flat tyres, shivering nights in the fog belt, scorching days under the Namib sun, being 'marooned' on Black Rock and rescuing six vehicles from the beach near St Francis Bay by somehow getting then up the slip face of a coastal dune when nobody believed that this would be possible.

Contents of Treasures of the Diamond Coast. A Century of Diamond Mining in Namibia

Preface
Foreword
PART I: Introduction
Chapter 1: The sparkle in the south-western corner of Africa
Chapter 2: A diamond is forever
Chapter 3: A world of diamond.
Chapter 4: There's more to a diamond than meets the eye
Chapter 5: From the crucibles of creation: The origin of diamonds
Chapter 6: Namibia's Diamond Coast
PART II: The Prelude
Capter 7: In search of diamonds before 1908
PART III: 1908 to 1920
Chapter 8: Eureka! Diamonds!
Chapter 9: Stauch quietly sets the scene
Chapter 10: A sleepy Lüderitzbuht wakes up
Chapter 11: Diamonds like plums beneath a plum tree
Chapter 12: The declaration of the Sperrgebiet
Chapter 13: Recovery methods
Chapter 14: The diamond companies
1. Koloniale Bergbau-Gesellschaft mbH
2. Vereinigte Diamantminen-Aktiengesellschaft
3. Diamanten-Aktiengesellschaft (vorm. Weiss De Meilion & Co.)
4. Deutsche Diamanten-Gesellschaft mbH
5. Pomona Diamanten-Gesellschaft
6. Bahnfelder Gesellschaften
7. Diamanten Pachtgesellschaft
8. Diamanten-Abbau- Gesellschaft mbH Lüderitzbucht
9. Swakopmunder Diamant-Gesellschaft mbH and Lüderitzbuchter Bergbau-Gesellschaft mbH
10. Schürfgesellschaft Kolmanskop mbH (later Colmanskop Diamond Mines Ltd)
11. Diamantengesellschaft Grillental mbH
Chapter 15: Expansion to the north
Chapter 16: Legislation and fiscal policy
Chapter 17: Life on the diamond fields
Chapter 18: The First World War
Chapter 19: Economic importance
Chapter 20: Consolidation
Chapter 21: Deutsche Kolonialgeesellschaft für Südwest-Afrika
PART IV: 1920 to 1990
Chapter 22: A new beginning? — The Consolidated Diamond Mines of South West Africa Ltd.
1. Kolmannskuppe
2. Elizabeth Bay
3. Pomona
4. Bogenfels
Chapter 23: Oranjemund
1. Life in Oranjemund
2. Labour on the diamond mines
Chapter 24: Orange River
Chapter 25: Colmanskop Diamond Mines, later Namaqua Diamonds Ltd
Chapter 26: The northern fields — A new beginning after World War I
Chapter 27: Saddle Hill
Chapter 28: Skeleton Coast
Chapter 29: Terrace Bay
Chapter 30: Entering the last frontier - from dream to reality
1. The King of Sea Diamonds
2. Other players
3. A new episode of marine diamond mining
4. De Beers Marine (Pty) Ltd
Chapter 31: Kimberlites once again
Chapter 32: Legislation and diamond security
Chapter 33: Economic importance
Chapter 34: The birth of the Central Selling Organisation
PART V: 1990 to 2009
Chapter 35: From CDM to Namdeb
1. Mining Area 1 Mining Licence
2. Bogenfels Mining Licence
3. Elizabeth Bay Mining Licence
4. Douglas Bay mining Licence
5. Orange River Mining Licence
6. From De Beers Marine to De Beers Marine Namibia
7. Contractors
Chapter 36: Other companies
1. Ocean Diamond Mining
2. Namibia Minerals Corporation and Sakawe Mining Corporation
3. Namibian West Coast Diamonds and Diamond Fields International
4. Irans Hex
5. Tidal Diamonds
6. Minor producers
Chapter 37: Legislation and security
Chapter 38: The Kimberley Process
Chapter 39: Life amongst the diamonds
Chapter 40: Diamond cutting
Chapter 41: Economic importance
Chapter 42: Exploration
Chapter 43: The Central Selling Organisation and the Namibian Diamond Trading Company
PART VI: Epilogue
Epilogue
References
Index

This is an extract from the book: Treasures of the Diamond Coast. A Century of Diamond Mining in Namibia, by Gabi Schneider.

Book title: Treasures of the Diamond Coast
Subtitle: A century of diamond mining in Namibia
Author: Gabi Schneider
Macmillan Education Namibia Publishers
Windhoek, Namibia 2009
ISBN 9789991609683
Hardcover, 25x33 cm, 320 pages, throughout illustrations and photos

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