THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD RUSH
The Soul of the Beast happens at the time of the South African Gold Rush, John Sexton sails to South Africa and hides in the gold fields to escape death from his family’s curse. Below are excerpts from an online article about the Gold Rush by goldavenue.com/Info .
The initial riches found in South Africa were diamonds, not gold. The first diamond was found near the … northern Cape Province in 1867… within three years, the region [was] alive with diggers … from all over the world [trying] to build up diamond fortunes … Among them was Cecil Rhodes [founder of the Rhodes scholarship] ….
… It was not until years later that prospectors realized] they were right on top of the richest gold field the world has ever known. The credit for discovering the main reef of gold … goes to a man [working on a farm} in February 1886 …he was digging up stone to help build a house [and] recognized the rock as gold-bearing …. news of gold on [the] farm brought men rushing to the fledgling city of Johannesburg…
[Initially, getting] a profitable amount of gold from the ore was difficult. The problem was solved] …. In 1887 [when two doctors] patented [a] process for extracting the gold from ore with cyanide. The process extracted 96 per cent of the gold from the ore.