National Geographic : 1952 Mar
360 Young Lemba Sees Others as the Photogr Familiar village life looks like high adventure when glir finder. Clothes do not burden youngsters in this e drills stopped and I became aware of individ ual vibrations. I was nearly deaf for hours afterward. Only with difficulty did I hear the superin tendent explain that the first of the generators will be in operation in 1953 and that the com pleted installation will yield an output of 90,000 kilowatts. The genial Belgian engineer who has charge of the tunnel drilling told me he had gained his idea for the Jumbo on a visit to the United States. Not only here but throughout the mining districts I saw quantities of equipment marked "U. S. A."-huge shovels, generators, mining machinery, and even X-ray equipment in med ical laboratories. From the Katanga I flew to Luluabourg, capital of Kasai Province, in the south-central Congo. Here again I was due for a surprise. Probably no other town in the colony has mushroomed so fast as Luluabourg. Virtually all of it has been built up in the last five or ten years. Much of the town is so new it still is unfinished. The reason for this rapid expansion is the transfer of the provin cial capital from Lu sambo to here. Bank ing facilities also have been brought here from Port Francqui. The Kasai's out standing resources are diamonds, palm oil, foodstuffs, and people. Not the least of these is its people, for the majority of the workmen and their families who migrate to the mining districts of Katanga come from the Kasai. The Prov ince supplies cattle, corn, and other food needed in Katanga. A Million Carats of Diamonds a Month! The Kasai's own mining interests are notable. There are two diamond-bearing dis tricts, one centered at Tshikapa to the south Africa Filmproject west of Luluabourg, apher Sees Him and the other at Bak npsed through the view wanga to the east. equatorial country. For years miners have been combing the valley gravels along the Kasai and feeder streams around Tshikapa for diamonds. Op erations here yield some 500,000 to 600,000 carats a year, about half of them gem stones. Diggings at newer Bakwanga produce about 10,000,000 carats a year! These are mainly industrial diamonds, or bort. Bakwanga's output is expected soon to be boosted to a mil lion carats a month. Large quantities of these industrial diamonds are sent to the United States for use in machine tools, drills, and other cutting equipment (page 349). The stones at Tshikapa are found in alluvial gravels, but are little worn by stream wash ing. Apparently they have not moved far from where they originally were deposited. "Are there no volcanic pipes such as South Africa's Kimberley from which they have come?" I asked a mining official.* * See "Cities That Gold and Diamonds Built," by W. Robert Moore, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, December, 1942.