Thursday, April 11, 2013


 
The Big Hole, a Kimberley Diamond Mine
 
NIGHTMARE FOR A CLAUSTROPHOBIC; EXPLORING A SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND MINE
Imagine plunging 25,000 feet through the darkness towards the center of the earth entombed in a small fragile looking cage hardly big enough for a flock of canaries let alone three humans clad in white helmets and blue overalls, with Cesar Hoyas strapped to their waists.
 
Guaranteed to give us 45 minutes of oxygen in the event of a calamity, the Cesar Hoya (‘Help me to breath’) sets my blood pumping at an alarming rate. It’s hardly comforting, in fact horrifying, that just another seven kilometers down, say from here to the 401, would bring us to the earth’s crust and from then on, molten lava roiling and popping in a hellish fiery dance ready to turn us to instant ash.

When the elevator finally comes to a stop we step onto solid ground in a cavern of stone where only a few in the entire population of the world have been. The distant roar of machines digging for diamonds echoes like a throbbing war drum along silent stone passages.

Image copyright Anne Gordon

Posted by Anne Gordon on April 11th 2013.
 
 
 
 
 


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