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    The first diamonds came from land belonging to the Griqua, but to which both the Transvaal and Orange Free State laid claim. Britain quickly stepped in and annexed the area for itself. The discovery of the Kimberley diamond-mines unleashed a flood of European and black labourers into the area.

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    The sub-division of what became the settlement's central district was a typical product of nineteenth century mining camp planning. In the case of all other gold discoveries made previously in the Transvaal, deposits had invariably proved to have a short working life, so the concentrations of people they stimulated were equally short lived.

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    Mining in South Africa has been the main driving force behind the history and development of Africa's most advanced and richest economy. Large scale and profitable mining started with the discovery of a diamond on the banks of the Orange River in 1867 by Erasmus Jacobs and the subsequent discovery and exploitation of the Kimberley pipes a few years later.

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    However, only a few diamond deposits were known until the 20th century, when scientific understanding and technology extended diamond exploration and mining around the globe.

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    The Mineral Revolution is a term used by historians to refer to the rapid industrialisation and economic changes which occurred in South Africa from the 1870s onwards. The Mineral Revolution was largely driven by the need to create a permanent workforce to work in the mining industry, and saw South Africa transformed from a patchwork of ...

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    South Africa Table of Contents. South Africa's modern history has often been dated from the first commercial mining of diamonds and gold in the 1870s and the 1880s, when the region became a magnet for European investment (see Diamonds).Mining in the region predated European arrivals by several centuries, however, as the new government recalled in its minerals policy statements in 1994 …