Brief history of diamond mining in South Africa. INCLUDING MAJOR EVENTS. 1867. Diamonds are discovered in the Cape Colony – now the Northern Cape – when 15yearold Erasmus Jacobs finds a transparent rock on his father's farm. The rock is later known as the Eureka diamond.
Mining in South Africa was once the main driving force behind the history and development of Africa's most advanced and richest economy. Largescale 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.