The attack on Koffiefontein, October 1900
During the resurgence of Boer activity in the southern Free State in October 1900, Koffiefontein was besieged by Commandant JAM Hertzog and Captain Visser for nine days. Capt Robertson of the Kimberley Light Horse had been appointed as Assistant Resident Magistrate at Koffiefontein (or Koffyfontein, as often written by the British). He was the only military man in the district, but when the town was threatened by a Boer commando, he armed some fifty miners. On 16 October, Robertson withdrew from the town and occupied a position at the mines which he entrenched. Several fierce battles took place, until the town was relieved by Sir C Parsons.
Diamonds were first discovered on Koffiefontein farm in 1870. Mining started in the form of small claims that were later amalgamated into Koffiefontein Mine Limited.
De Beers acquired control of Koffiefontein Mine Limited in 1911. Underground production briefly took place in 1982 but ceased soon thereafter due to the slump in the diamond market, before resuming again in March 1987.
In February 2006, De Beers ceased mining when the old order mining right for Koffiefontein expired and soon Petra Mining commenced operating the mine under care and maintenance conditions, before completing the acquisition of the mine in July 2007.
From its first beginnings, Koffiefontein has been noted for the excellent quality of its diamonds.