In the midst of the vast dolomite plain of the Northern Cape the little town of Postmasburg, founded in 1892, was simply an isolated ranching centre.
After 26 years of quiet, diamonds were found near the town.
Then in 1922 manganese was discovered, followed in 1940 by the colossal iron deposits at Sishen.
These discoveries converted a dull area into a scene of tremendous mining activity.
An electrified railway was built in 1930 to convey ore to the main line north of Kimberley and another electrified line was built in 1974 to link the mines directly to the sea at Saldanha.
Postmasburg is no holiday resort but rather a marshalling yard for trains and a commercial and administrative centre for the mines and thus plays a major part in the economy of South Africa.
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