This academic history of diamond mining in Kimberley is a major study of the beginning of South Africa's mineral revolution. It includes the first analysis of the formation of De Beers Consolidated Mines, one of the most successful companies ever to have been established in Africa. Based on documentary sources, notably in the Standard Bank Archive, the Rothschild Archive and the Philipson Stow Papers, it includes an interpretation of the Black Flag Revolt and of the celebrated amalgamation struggle between Cecil Rhodes and Barney Barnato for the control of the diamond-mining industry. It also contains a narrative and analysis of strikes in mines in South Africa and an extended treatment of the social and economic structure of illicit diamond buying. But at its heart lies the introduction of the compound system and the structural explanation of the role played by this institution in the accummulation of diamond-mining capital.
List of plates; List of figures; List of maps; List of tables; List of appendix tables; Preface; List of abbreviations; 1. Diamond mining: an overview; 2. African labour in the early days; 3. The new colonial state, 1873-75; 4. The Black Flag Revolt: an analysis; 5. Company mining; 6. The 'share mania'; 7. The depression and strikes of 1883 and 1884; 8. The closed compound system; 9. Illicit diamond buying and the town economy; 10. Amalgamation; Appendix tables; Notes; Bibliography; Index.