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Mr Rhodes: The Diamond Octopus.

Excessive competition reduced the price of diamonds to its lowest ebb. The fortune of Kimberley hung in the balance. Only one thing could, save them— amalgamation. But that, with so many and such conflicting interests, seemed at first impossible. The man who solved the difficulty was a young fellow who had recently taken a pumping-contract in De Beers. "Guided by Mr Cecil Rhodes and his fellow worker, Mr Bent— both of them now millionaires—the lie Beers * Company began r secretly , and steadily, through agents, to acquire. the main interest in all the others, until one fine day it was found that they were *«c masters of the situation. Remouldingitself into the "De Beers Consolidated, with a trust deed empowering them to engage in any and every "undertaking conducive to their ;end,' the • company in this way amalgamated first De Beers and then all the-other mines into one colossal syndicate. A few last outstanding companies were being bought in the very week I spent in Kimberley ; and as the company has acquired also a preponderant interest in the only other diamond diggings which need berconsidered, it controls to-day the diamond industry of the world. Shafts . have been .sunk to depths of seven and eight ~ hundred feet through the fallen reef and through the hard mass outside the mine ; the price per carat of diamonds has been doubled ; the joint yearly output amounts to three and ahalf million pounds' worth a year ; and while buying water at a fabulous rate, and coal at £9 a ton ; while paying wages to the tune of £20,000 a week, with total working expenses of £130,000 a month, the company anticipates an annual profit,of £2,400,000, and after paying 5h per cent on its 2| millions of debentures, divided 10, per cent in August last for the six months to June 30 on its share capital of £3,950,000.

Now the. world spends. £4,000,000 in diamonds every year; and, as year by year it grows more wealthy and populous, it will certainly, unless the taste dies out, not spend a penny less. The world, then, will go on buying its £4,000,000 worth of diamonds every year, and. of these-at* least £3,500,000 worth will have to come out of Kimberley and De Beers. That, at £2 the carat, means £1,750,000 carats from the two, or roughly 1,300,000 loads;: That, at 15s a load, means a total of yearly working expenses of about £1,000,000. That leaves a net yearly profit of 2\ millions of money ; or, taking the capital as £4,000,000, about 60 per cent —the best mining investment, I suppose, ;in the world. —" Pall Mall Gazette."

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Bibliographic details

Mr Rhodes: The Diamond Octopus., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2430, 2 June 1890

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Mr Rhodes: The Diamond Octopus. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2430, 2 June 1890

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