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As miners arrived in their thousands the hill disappeared and subsequently became known as the Big Hole (or Kimberley se Gat in Afrikaans) or, more formally, Kimberley Mine.

From mid-July 1871 to 1914, 50,000 miners dug the hole with picks and shovels, yielding 2,722 kg of diamonds.

On 14 October 1899, Kimberley was besieged at the beginning of the Second Boer War.

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Very quickly, Kimberley became the largest city in the area, partly due to a massive African migration to the area from all over the continent.

The immigrants were accepted with open arms, because the De Beers company was in search of cheap labour to help run the mines.

The Big Hole has a surface of 17 hectares (42 acres) and is 463 metres wide.

It was excavated to a depth of 240 m, but then partially infilled with debris reducing its depth to about 215 m; since then it has accumulated water to a depth of 40 m leaving 175 m visible.

Richard Southey would arrive as Lieutenant-Governor of the intended Crown Colony in January 1873.

Months passed however without any sign of the proclamation or of the promised new constitution and provision for representative government.Colonial Commissioners arrived in New Rush on 17 November 1871 to exercise authority over the territory on behalf of the Cape Governor.Digger objections and minor riots led to Governor Barkly's visit to New Rush in September the following year, when he revealed a plan instead to have Griqualand West proclaimed a Crown Colony.Kimberley is the capital and largest city of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.It is located approximately 110 km east of the confluence of the Vaal and Orange Rivers.Beneath the surface, the Kimberley Mine underneath the Big Hole was mined to a depth of 1097 metres.

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