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Location: Orange Free State (View location on map)
Minerals Worked: Diamonds (kimberlitic)
Principal Mines: Koffiefontein
A fountain in the vicinity of Koffiefontein was a favourite stopping off point for transport riders in the 19th century. The riders' habit of constantly making coffee is said to have led to the name Koffiefontein. In June 1870, one of these transport riders picked up a diamond near the fountain. This prompted the usual diamond rush and by 1882 Koffiefontein was a booming town with four mining companies. Ten years later the miners' camp was proclaimed a town and the name Koffiefontein was retained.
In 1911 De Beers took over the Koffiefontein
Mining Company and the mine passed into their hands. During the Great Depression
the mine, like so many others, was closed down and didn't re-open until the mid
1950s. Today the mine is again under financial threat and is on the point of
During World War II Koffiefontein served as a POW (Prisoner Of War) camp for about 2,000 Italian soldiers. About 800 pro-Nazi South Africans were also detained in the town.
Postcard issues relating to this mine include the following.
|"Thumbnail" Images (Note 1)
|Card Title or Description
|Card Ref. No.
|A Blast. Koffyfontein Mine.
|The Main Gear. Koffyfontein Mine.
1) For further information and enlarged views of each postcard click on any one of the above images.
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