Landowners cry foul after property ravaged in mad dash as miracle turns to mirage
WESTERN BUREAU: Having resorted the expensive option of hiring a backhoe to dig a soakaway pit as they could not find anyone willing to do the task manually, the owners of a property in Chester Castle, Hanover, are now lamenting the scores of...
Having resorted the expensive option of hiring a backhoe to dig a soakaway pit as they could not find anyone willing to do the task manually, the owners of a property in Chester Castle, Hanover, are now lamenting the scores of people now ravaging their property after believing traces of gold were discovered in the excavation process.
The owners are lamenting that the throng of residents of Chester Castle and nearby communities who have been flocking to the area since last Tuesday in search of riches have now destroyed their newly dug pit and are humbugging the work at the site.
Yanique Cole told The Gleaner that she has been trying to build her house for more than 15 years, but nearing the end of the rough journey, all hell broke loose.
“Mi go through a lot of ups and downs and now mi come this far now, and almost reach the finishing, now all a this start happen,” Cole said.
“Now it just kinda overwhelming. You don’t known if you must feel happy about it, you don’t know if you must feeling sad, but mi don’t really like how them a deal wid the pit because mi come a far way with it,” Cole added, noting that hiring a backhoe to dig the pit did not come cheaply.
“The people dem seh dem a go sort it out, them nah go leave it like that, but mi just a hope fi the best,” she said.
Cole’s common-law husband was also not happy with the invasion and the way in which is pit was being destroyed.
“We have one tractor come dig the pit fi we because we could not get nobody fi dig it. So [the] man a dig and reach round 10 feet down inna the pit and wi start see some blue soil a come up,” he related.
“Because we destined fi reach a the 15-feet [mark], we still mek him continue fi dig, so by the time him reach ‘bout 12 feet or so, we notice the blue soil what them throw pon the ground start have some shine-shine, so wi go through and find some rock-like clusters or crystals or whatever it might look, but it give off a very shiny look, but people feel seh a gold.”
As word rapidly spread through the quiet community and a crowd armed with machetes and other implements to dig the soil descended on the Top Land property, growing thicker by the day.
This has now created a huge setback for the family.
“So far, we can’t get fi do nothing because people a come in seh a gold and them nah really force wi fi stop, but them want try work with we [and] continue check the soil, but this kinda deh impede wi from get wi job done ... . We woulda like fi cover the pit and move along wid wi life,” Cole’s common-law husband said.
Although not scientifically tested, the find is believed to be iron pyrite, or fool’s gold, a commonly occurring substance, which, to the novice, is deceptively similar in colour to a gold nugget. It is a weak mineral and has very little commercial value.
The disgruntled landowner told The Gleaner that he does not believe the substance is gold.
“We run a little check pon it, put it through heat process, and we realise seh it burn up ... . We test it and we beat it and we see seh it powder out,” he disclosed.
He added that when acid was added to samples, they turned to powder.
However, the gold-seekers remain unfazed, still digging inside the pit and carting away bucketloads of soil while promising to repack it when they are through.
Some residents of the area expressed disappointed that up to Monday evening, the Ministry of Mining had not sent a representative to the community to make checks on the find.