Riches from within the earth
“Evaporating gravestones” near Daniëlskuil was the first clue to the rich limestone deposits found at what was to become the mining village of Lime Acres.
Geologist Digby Roberts heard these and other stories about businessmen who had been disappointed to find that the stone they quarried developed brown stains when exposed to the air. What they suspected to be poor quality dolomite, Roberts recognized as primary limestone.
Having been given instructions by his employer, Corner House, to locate new sources of limestone, Roberts investigated. The limestone was needed in the processing of low-grade uranium recovered from waste residues in the slime dams of gold mines, in preparation for atomic warfare. Roberts went about his prospecting in a very secretive way, but uncovered a large block of limestone between Daniëlskuil and Papkuil.
Northern Lime bought the farms and miner Frik Scholtz opened a quarry. And in 1954 the first kilns of what is now known as PPC Lime, came into operation.
Alwin Austin built a village to accommodate mining employees along two parallel roads, divided in sections by Burma Road. Each of the four halves was named after one of the farms bought by Northern Lime – Bowden, Smuts, Shone and Adams. Northern Lime’s general manager, Eric Lowther named the village Lime Acres.
As long ago as1930 HS Richter discovered diamonds on the farm Brits. The farm was state owned and as such prospecting for precious stones was illegal. Pretending to prospect for asbestos, Richter continued his investigation of the kimberlite in 1939, but an argument with his partners led to him being fined about R40 in the Griquatown magistrate’s court for prospecting illegally. Several other prospectors saw the potential of Brits for diamonds, but it was only after the law was changed in 1960, that three broke partners, Willie Schwabel, Brahm Papendorf and Thorny Fincham were able to continue to prospect for diamonds. Within the first two hours of the first wash they found 26 diamonds. In 1962 De Beers was showing interest and subsequently bought the mine. They opened the Finch pipe in 1964 and erected a treatment and recovery plant. Situated only 2km from Lime Acres, the employees of Finch mine were accommodated at the existing village.
Today Lime Acres is a modern town with tree-lined streets and spacious homes and beautiful gardens.
Statistics & Facilities:
Schools: Day-care facilities, a pre-primary- and three primary schools.
Shopping: Facilities for all day-to-day necessities, including Post Office
Sports: Soccer, rugby, a grassed 9-hole golf course, tennis, bowls, cycling, running, squash, badminton, cricket, a well equipped gym
Medical: Day Clinics at the two companies as well as a full medical facility and hospital in town.
Recreation: A library as well as a Recreation Club with movies and a steak house.
Accommodation: Two privatized Guesthouses or in Daniëlskuil,
Kgatelopele Municipality (053) 384 0013
Green Kalahari Tourism (054) 337 2826
PPC Lime (053) 385 8200 De Beers Consolidated Mine (Finch Mine) (053) 385 211