THE GROWCERY CAMP
Port Nolloth is a harbour and mining town in the far northwestern part of the Northern Cape. It is a mere 90 km from Steinkopf and about 140 km from the town of Springbok. Port Nolloth is 90km from The Growcery Camp. It is an ideal self-drive day trip when staying at The Growcery Camp. Port Nolloth is the direct result of the early copper mining industry close to Springbok. James Alexander prospected and discovered the large copper mine in Okiep in 1855.
The next step after the discovery was to get a port for exporting the ore. This is when Port Nolloth was assigned to be used as a harbour for exporting the copper from Okiep. A Quay was built in the late 1900’s, actually close to 1855. This quay could accommodate horses and carts carrying copper from the first copper mine namely Okiep. In 1876 the horses were replaced by a railway line of about 95 miles.
The increasing the demand for copper invited a number of ships to come and collect the copper. The reefs adjacent to the harbour, along with the wild seas of the Westcoast drove many ships ashore. The exporting of Copper was later send down to Bitterfontein in the south of Namaqualand. The decreasing ships had a tremendous effect on this initially bustling harbour settlement. The discovery of alluvial diamonds along the coast as revitalised the Town of Port Nolloth yet again.
Prospectors and miners rushed to Port Nolloth all in search of riches in Diamonds. Today you can still see some active Diamond Mines and the remains of one of the largest companies, namely De Beers. The Diamond mining has been reduced to a single operator, namely Trans Hex Mines and some individual smaller concession holders. This is where Diamond Divers were born.