Boomtown or bust!

PATTANI: With bombings in the Deep South regrettably nearly a day by day occurrence, it comes as little surprise that some may refer to the area as a “boomtown”.
In reality, the Deep South can be in the midst of its own little “gold rush”, although the item of the hopeful prospectors need isn’t gold, however a mysterious black ore thought to have magical health-giving powers.
Some individuals are saying that the rock is definitely lek lai, a mythical metal that melts when held over a candle flame and confers invulnerability upon its proprietor – not a foul thing to own within the Deep South today.
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 vehicles, motorcycles and three-wheeled pig transporters.
The village was filled with people of all ages – from teenagers to grandparents – all lugging spades, pickaxes and buckets up to the hills the place the rocks have been to be discovered.
At the bottom of the trail to the hills, groups of diggers were sitting round selling what that they had discovered and discussing prices. Some had polished their specimens and had been promoting them as stones to embed in rings. Glittering black examples offered for 1,000 to 10,000 baht, matte black specimens have been fetching between one hundred and 800 baht and tea-colored rocks went for 100 to 500 baht.
Raw, unpolished rocks fetched between 50 and a couple of,000 baht, whereas large rocks infused with the mysterious black substance have been promoting for up to 15,000 baht.
Local rubber plantation proprietor Stapa Waesa, fifty six, stated that the “rock” had first been found by Ma-ae Yusoh, another rubber plantation owner, about seven months ago.
Ma-ae, a member of Khuan Nori Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), dreamed of an old man who informed him to go and dig within the hills after which distribute what he discovered among the villagers, K. Stapa said.
“After the dream, Ma-ae and 4 relations went to dig in the hills, the place they found rocks completely different to on an everyday basis 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 kept my share of the rocks and had a run of good luck, finding they might cure ailments 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 will get higher,” K. Stapa stated.
Some unbelieving villagers threw their stones away, however others polished them and offered 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 stated.
In the primary month following their discovery, the stones were plentiful and particularly stunning, he stated. Now, some days as many as 1,000 individuals come to look for the rocks.
Up-sell are not certain precisely what the rocks are, however there are heaps of theories, K. Stapa mentioned. Some are saying it’s manganese, while others consider it to be a sort of lek lai. Some villagers have made the rock into amulets to protect them; others maintain them in their vehicles to guard them whereas on the road.
Jintadi Phithamaethakul, Head of the Pattani Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office, stated he knew that the villagers had been digging for a kind of rock however could not but 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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