Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Diamonds are a girls best friend. But what about the mining process as a whole. When a client asked me to take a look at some creative opportunities for workers I didn't quite fathom how deep ( excuse the pun) the mining industry actually is. South Africa has lost out to Botswana as a major processor of diamonds and thus new ways of thinking are needed. So I looked at the first stage of mining...prospecting. Now this doesn't sound that interesting but it conjures up images of men with long beards walking in mountains and streams or riding their ponies seeking gold and diamonds over months or years. I thought why not allow us city dwellers to become prospectors as a tourism thing and hide real gems ( off cuts of course) as a real incentive to explore. Quite exciting. But we are also inundated with TV programs showing survival skills. And the prospector had to learn to survive in tough conditions. I can also see Kids panning and sifting in makeshift zones linked to gem makers where one could manufacture and sell all the equipment for kids and plant some real gems to make it really exciting. But why stop there. What about an idea in this blog where a clothing brand called "African Cowboy" could be sold. Today metal detectors are used and I love the idea of ordinary people using a simple metal detector to find and explore but this could also be an empowerment project where hundreds of people could seek scrap metal with the metal detectors and sell it, making a living. The prospector also needed to understand mapping. I believe communities should map every aspect of their lives so we can all understand better what solutions are needed to make the world a better place. This includes geological mapping especially re: water sources. Other opportunities looking at the diamond mining industry included alternative uses for beeswax, often used to sort the diamonds from the soil, amazing security solutions such as helium filled balloons ( which could prevent cattle theft), and my personal favourite cutting stone tools to make alternative cutlery. This could become an amazing job creator as stone age tools can be cut to make knives, spoons, bowls, mortar and pestles etc. I can already see them at fancy steakhouses as a really quirky addition to the business. So the more I looked at creating fun and creative alternatives for the diamond industry the more I found.