Boomtown or bust!

PATTANI: With bombings in the Deep South regrettably nearly a every day occurrence, it comes as little surprise that some would possibly refer to the region as a “boomtown”.
In reality, the Deep South is also in the course of its personal little “gold rush”, though the thing of the hopeful prospectors want isn’t gold, but a mysterious black ore thought to have magical health-giving powers.
Some people are saying that the rock is definitely lek lai, a legendary metal that melts when held over a candle flame and confers invulnerability upon its owner – not a foul thing to own within the Deep South these days.
The discovery was made in the village of Phru Jud, in Tambon Khuan Nori of Khok Pho district. When journalists arrived on November 1, they discovered the roads lined with vehicles, motorcycles and three-wheeled pig transporters.
The village was filled with people of all ages – from teens to grandparents – all lugging spades, pickaxes and buckets up to the hills the place the rocks had been to be discovered.
At the bottom of the trail to the hills, groups of diggers have been sitting round promoting what that they had discovered and discussing prices. Some had polished their specimens and have been selling them as stones to embed in rings. Glittering black examples offered for 1,000 to 10,000 baht, matte black specimens were fetching between one hundred and 800 baht and tea-colored rocks went for one hundred to 500 baht.
Raw, unpolished rocks fetched between 50 and a pair of,000 baht, while giant rocks infused with the mysterious black substance have been promoting for as a lot as 15,000 baht.
Local rubber plantation owner Stapa Waesa, 56, stated that the “rock” had first been discovered by Ma-ae Yusoh, one other rubber plantation owner, about seven months in the past.
Ma-ae, a member of Khuan Nori Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), dreamed of an old man who advised him to go and dig within the hills after which distribute what he found among the many villagers, K. Stapa said.
“After the dream, Ma-ae and 4 family members went to dig in the hills, the place they found rocks different to everyday rocks. Ma-ae then went and gave them out to local villagers, telling them that an ancestor had appeared in his dream telling him concerning the rocks.
“I saved my share of the rocks and had a run of excellent luck, finding they might remedy illnesses including stomachache, toothache and fever. If you soak the rock in water then rub the water on the half that hurts for about half an hour, it gets higher,” K. Stapa said.
Off-limits threw their stones away, however others polished them and bought them to traders available within the market for greater than 1,000 baht every. As word of the stones unfold, villagers began to go and dig for them themselves, K. Stapa said.
In the primary month following their discovery, the stones had been plentiful and especially lovely, he said. Now, some days as many as 1,000 people come to look for the rocks.
People aren’t certain precisely what the rocks are, however there are tons of theories, K. Stapa mentioned. Some are saying it’s manganese, while others imagine it to be a sort of lek lai. Some villagers have made the rock into amulets to guard them; others maintain them of their cars to guard them whereas on the street.
Jintadi Phithamaethakul, Head of the Pattani Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office, mentioned he knew that the villagers had been digging for a sort of rock but could not yet say what the rock was, though it was likely to be manganese.
He has ordered for samples to be sent for examination in Songkhla..

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