Mining of minerals has been going on in this world for thousands of years. It's hard to view life of any kind today without mining. All the metals we mine and produce are turned into everything from cell phones to toasters and everything else in between. But it's not just everything metal that is always mined. Sometimes what's mined by some is percieved as more precious than even gold or silver. Too some people, diamonds are the value and wealth of kings.
It was in 1908 in the African country of Namiba that a worker by the name of Zacharias Lewala found a small shiney stone while working and showed it to his supervisor who was a German railway inspector by the name of August Stauch. August knew that the area was rich in diamonds and soon there was an influx of German miners began to arrive and eventually built a small settlement. They called this new mining town Kolmanskop, named after Johnny Coleman who ran an oxen wagon trnsporting goods in the day. Johnny had stopped there during a sand storm on year.
Kolmanskop delivered enormous wealth of the miners. The village was built in the architectural style of a German town, with amenities and institutions including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, theatre and sport-hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere, as well as the first tram in Africa. 700 families lived in Kolmanskop. There was evne a tram that would run from Kolmanskop to the port town of Luderitz.
Over 1000 kg of diamonds were extracted before World War I. The desert sand has to be screened and washed in huge containers with water pumped from the ocean. About 1000 carats, which would be about 200 grams, of rough diamonds were mined daily. It would take about 10 tons of sand normally to produce 1 or 2 carats of rough diamonds. Soon the areas diamonds were getting depleted but then another find about 30 KM away came about in an area called Elizabeth Bay.
Mining in Elizabeth Bay stayed strong for many years until larger diamonds were found to the south near Oranjemund, causing both Kolmanskop and Elizabeth Bay to become a ghost towns in 1954.