Boomtown or bust!

PATTANI: With bombings in the Deep South regrettably virtually a daily occurrence, it comes as little shock that some may discuss with the region as a “boomtown”.
In truth, the Deep South can additionally be in the middle of its own little “gold rush”, though the item of the hopeful prospectors want isn’t gold, however a mysterious black ore thought to have magical health-giving powers.
Some individuals are saying that the rock is actually lek lai, a legendary metallic that melts when held over a candle flame and confers invulnerability upon its proprietor – not a bad thing to possess within the Deep South these days.
The discovery was made within the village of Phru Jud, in Tambon Khuan Nori of Khok Pho district. When journalists arrived on November 1, they found the roads lined with automobiles, motorcycles and three-wheeled pig transporters.
The village was filled with individuals of all ages – from teens to grandparents – all lugging spades, pickaxes and buckets up to the hills where the rocks have been to be found.
At the underside of the trail to the hills, teams of diggers had been sitting round selling what that they had discovered and discussing prices. Some had polished their specimens and were selling them as stones to embed in rings. Glittering black examples offered for 1,000 to 10,000 baht, matte black specimens had been fetching between a hundred and 800 baht and tea-colored rocks went for one hundred to 500 baht.
Raw, unpolished rocks fetched between 50 and 2,000 baht, while massive rocks infused with the mysterious black substance had been promoting for up to 15,000 baht.
Local rubber plantation owner Stapa Waesa, 56, said that the “rock” had first been discovered by Ma-ae Yusoh, another rubber plantation owner, about seven months in the past.
Ma-ae, a member of Khuan Nori Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), dreamed of an outdated man who informed him to go and dig in the hills and then distribute what he discovered among the villagers, K. Hurry mentioned.
“After the dream, Ma-ae and 4 relations went to dig within the hills, where they discovered 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 in regards to the rocks.
“I saved my share of the rocks and had a run of excellent luck, discovering they might cure ailments including stomachache, toothache and fever. If Authentic soak the rock in water then rub the water on the half that hurts for about half an hour, it will get higher,” K. Stapa stated.
Some unbelieving villagers threw their stones away, however others polished them and offered them to traders out there for greater than 1,000 baht each. As word of the stones unfold, villagers started to go and dig for them themselves, K. Stapa stated.
In the primary month following their discovery, the stones had been plentiful and particularly stunning, he said. Now, some days as many as 1,000 folks come to look for the rocks.
People aren’t certain precisely what the rocks are, but there are many theories, K. Stapa said. Some are saying it’s manganese, while others consider it to be a type of lek lai. Some villagers have made the rock into amulets to guard them; others hold them in their cars to protect them whereas on the highway.
Jintadi Phithamaethakul, Head of the Pattani Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office, stated he knew that the villagers were digging for a kind of rock but couldn’t but say what the rock was, although it was prone to be manganese.
He has ordered for samples to be sent for examination in Songkhla..

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