witwatersrand is famous for

[6] The entire series of rocks, known as the “Witwatersrand Supergroup’’ consists of quartzites, banded ironstones, mudstones, tillites, conglomerates and some marine lava deposits. [6] In fact, apart from the Witwatersrand outcrops (i.e. The Boer farmers denied these “uitlanders” voting rights and mounted heavy taxes on the gold industry. Not all the conglomerates contain gold, and of those that do (known as “reefs” by the miners), the gold is not uniformly distributed throughout the layer, but tends to occur in streaks, where the pebbles that make up the conglomerate are larger than elsewhere. Thank you for trusting us with your sapphire purchase! MessageToEagle.com – About 80 years ago, three green diamonds, were extracted from the 3 billion-year-old Witwatersrand Supergroup, an ancient rock formation that is host to the famous Johannesburg gold mines in South Africa. The larger Johannesburg Metropolitan Area is also known as the Witwatersrand (“Ridge of White Waters”). It has produced some 2 billion ounces over a century of mining and at an average grade of 15 g/t Au with a current head grade of 6-10 g/t Au and they still have estimated reserves of some 1,161 billion ounces (36,000 tonnes). The Witwatersrand plateau consists of a 5000- to 7000-metre-thick layer of mainly sedimentary rocks laid down over a period of about 260 million years, starting approximately 2970 million years ago. [1][2] However, when it was found that, traced downdip, the conglomerate was not merely developed for the narrow width of a river, but continued in depth, there came the realisation that this conglomeratic zone was part of a sedimentary succession. Building Publications, Pretoria. Commonly known as “Wits”, the University of the Witwatersrand developed out of the South African School of Mines, set up in Kimberley in 1896. The basin is famous for its very large deposits of gold and uranium that occur as detrital minerals in conglomerates. Over 40000 tonnes (44000 short tons) have been mined from these rocks since this precious metal was first discovered here in 1886. It was laid down in two stages, over the course of 260 million years starting just short of 3000 million years ago. Today, the Witwatersrand reef  is part of the “golden arc,” an ancient inland lake containing rich deposits of alluvial gold . Celebrate our journey towards the Wits Centenary in 2022. The result was alternating red and gray layers of mud which, when consolidated, became banded ironstones. [3] The entire plateau-like structure is also often called the Witwatersrand. The second phase, which lasted for 200 million years, followed on from the first phase, with on-land deposits, resulting from the retreat of the Witwatersrand Sea, leaving a wide almost flat coastal plain over which rivers from the north formed wide braided river deltas, into some of which rich deposits of gold were deposited. The abundance of this gold is without a natural equal anywhere else in the world. Johannesburg is just within the outer edge of this impact crater. It is the younger Central Rand Group that contains most of the gold bearing conglomerates, locally referred to as banket, that are today of great economic importance. Demuvawatha, Ratnapura Commonly known as Wits University or just Wits, the University Of Witwatersrand is a multi-campus public research university in South Africa that is … It is more commonly known as Wits University or Wits (/vəts/ or /vɪts/). "Engineering Geology of Southern Africa". 79 Council Avenue The war continued for years through, is part of the “golden arc,” an ancient inland lake containing rich deposits of, (60 miles) long and 3.6 kilometers (12,000 feet) deep in certain places. Production does not come easy though. It was the coalescence of several of these island arcs that led to the formation of the Kaapvaal Craton, one of the first microcontinents to form on earth about 3900 million years ago. Prominent graduates from University of the Witwatersrand include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. Silver, uranium, and iridium are recovered as gold-refining by-products. The Witwatersrand plateau consists of a 5000-to-7000-metre-thick (3.1–4.3 mi) layer of mainly sedimentary rocks laid down over a period of about 260 million years, starting approximately 2.97 billion years ago. Witwatersrand Gold Rush - WikiMili, The Free Encyclopedia - WikiMili, The Free Encyclopedia. Like the diamond discoveries before, the gold rush caused thousands of foreign expatriates to prospect and mine the region. The diamonds have been studied by researchers and reveal secrets of how the Earth worked more than 3.5 billion years ago. Thus, when mine waste comes into contact with oxygenated rainwater, sulfuric acid is released into the ground water. University of the Witwatersrand Application Form. [2][6] The impact was close to the present village of Vredefort, which has given its name to the geological remnant of this immense event: the Vredefort Dome. The Witwatersrand escarpment has immense geological significance, and its rock formations and rock composition yield valuable geological data to scientists. Although legends of a South African “El Dorado” existed among the natives of the area, it was not until 1886, when a poor Australian prospector named George Harrison staked the first claim, that the vast riches of the “Rand” were discovered. It was on the southern portion of this ridge that gold was first discovered on the farm Langlaagte in 1886, 5 km west of Johannesburg. Sapphire Specialists, in New York City Since 1939. It is also the reason behind the South African currency gaining the moniker of “Rand” in 1961. Cyanobacteria grew in relative abundance in these mineral rich waters. ... in what is now known … Over 50,000 metric tons of gold were mined here, making up 50% of the total gold mined on our planet. Although gold had been discovered in various locations in South Africa, such as Barberton and Pilgrim's Rest, as well as at several sites near the Witwatersrand, these were alluvial concentrates in contemporary rivers, or in quartz veins, in the form that gold had always been found elsewhere on earth. [1] The conglomerate was quickly traced east and westward for a total continuous distance of 50 km to define what became known as the “Central Rand Gold Field”. conurbation that developed along the range, removal of a several kilometres thick layer of deposits from the surface of the Southern African Plateau, "Three Historic Johannesburg Passes | The Heritage Portal", http://www.goldsheetlinks.com/production.htm, Behind gold's glitter, torn lands and pointed questions, "Outcrop of Main Reef Group of Conglomerates Langlaagte Johannesburg-9/2/228/0196", Relationships between the Vredefort structure and the Witwatersrand basin within the tectonic framework of the Kaapvaal craton as interpreted from regional gravity and aeromagnetic data, List of fossiliferous stratigraphic units in South Africa, Tectonic evolution of the Barberton greenstone belt, Department of Mineral Resources (South Africa), Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Archean life in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, Geological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Witwatersrand&oldid=996396357#Witwatersrand_Basin, Short description is different from Wikidata, Use South African English from February 2017, All Wikipedia articles written in South African English, Pages using infobox mountain with multiple parameters, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Cammack, Diana (1990) "The Rand at War: the Witwatersrand and the Anglo-Boer war 1899–1902, This page was last edited on 26 December 2020, at 10:04. Latest News All News Towards herd immunity from Covid-19: Costing a vaccine strategy for South Africa 7 January 2021 Mining's year ahead will demand deep innovation 6 January 2021 Building Africa's AI initiative 6 January 2021 How sub-Saharan Africa can rethink its approach to agriculture 5 January 2021 This sandy layer eventually became compressed to form the Orange Grove Quartzite, the lowermost layer of the Witwatersrand Supergroup. It is a range of hills in the Gauteng province South Africa that contains most of the worlds gold reserves. The Witwatersrand Basin Project (WBP) comprises two historic mining centres on the Northern Edge of the Witwatersrand Basin in the Central Rand Goldfield immediately southwest of the city of Johannesburg. [9], The Witwatersrand basin was created during the Archean Eon, and is therefore amongst the oldest geological structures on earth. The Witwatersrand is a word in Afrikaans which means “The Ridge of white waters”. The Witwatersrand Rifles Regiment ceased to exist when it was renamed Bambathat Rifles in August 2019. Iron pyrite (FeS2), which is relatively plentiful in the gold ores of the Witwatersrand, oxidises to insoluble ferric oxide (Fe2O3) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4). [7] Thus, it is possible that if it had not been for the Vredefort meteor strike 2000 million years ago, we would either have never discovered the rich gold deposits beneath the Southern African surface, or they would have been eroded away during the uninterrupted removal of a several kilometres thick layer of deposits from the surface of the Southern African Plateau in the relatively recent geological past: i.e. [2] This heralded the historic Witwatersrand Gold Rush. In the immediate vicinity of the impact all the subterranean strata were uplifted and upturned, so that Witwatersrand rocks are exposed in an arc 25 km away from the impact centre. Discovery of the Witwatersrand … #Witsie4Life Storytelling Series Wits Alumni Relations presents the #Witsie4Life storytelling series, shining a light on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The area is famous for being the source of 40% of the gold ever mined from the earth. Adam Mahomed Habib (born 1965) is a South African professor of political geography, incoming director of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London as of 1 January 2021, and the former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. [2][1] However, when it was found that, traced downdip, the conglomerate was not merely developed for the narrow width of a river, but continued in depth, there came the realisation that this conglomeratic zone was part of a sedimentary succession. It is the source of over 40% of the gold extracted from the Earth. Sun: 10:00am - 6:00pm ET, Hours Available Because of the extraordinary quantities of gold that have been extracted from the Witwatersrand rocks, the South African currency was named the rand in 1961 upon the declaration of the republic. This heightened political tensions in the area, ultimately contributing to the Second Boer War in 1899. The Witwatersrand Supergroup strata which reach the surface in Johannesburg dip downwards to the south at an angle of about 30°. Council for Geoscience, Geological Survey of South Africa. We're here to help! But changing geographical conditions resulted in the accumulation of a wide variety of sediments, ranging from mud, to sand, to gravel, and banded ironstones. The outcrop in Gauteng forms the Witwatersrand ridge, from which the basin and its rocks derive their name. The University of the Witwatersrand colloquially known as Wits University is internationally recognized for its excellent research, high academic standards, and its commitment to social justice in Africa and beyond. Shafts go down some 3,900 meters b… [2] South Deep was known by the name Western Areas Gold Mine until 2000. A final event that had a major impact on the geology of the Witwatersrand Basin and its exposure in the Johannesburg region, was a massive meteor impact 110 km to the south-west of Johannesburg 2020 million years ago. In addition to the founding of Johannesburg, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a major factor leading to the, The Boer farmers denied these “uitlanders” voting rights and mounted heavy taxes on the gold industry. Rhenium-osmium isotope studies indicate that the gold in those mineral deposits came from unusual 3000 million year old mantle-derived intrusions known as komatiite, present in the greenstone belts. Known commonly as Wits University, its mission is to uphold liberty of inquiry and the continuing pursuit of knowledge and truth. As gold fever crested, the steady influx of foreigners was unsettling to Boer farmers who were already established in the region. Sat: 1:00pm - 4:00pm ET Tillite deposits, dating from 2950 million years ago, are indicative of the first glaciation episodes on earth. [2], Ridge of erosion resistant rock in South Africa, Consequences of mining the ancient Witwatersrand rocks. In 1887 Cecil John Rhodes registered “The Gold Fields of South Africa” in London, South Africa's first mining house, with a capital of £250000. The resulting 2500–4500 m thick layer of sediments is termed the “West Rand Group” of Witwatersrand rocks. The Witwatersrand Rifles Regiment was a mechanised infantry regiment of the South African Army.As a reserve unit, it had a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Army Reserve or United States Army National Guard unit. Image courtesy of Galen R. Frysinger. Not only are the remains of this impact among the oldest on earth, but it is also one of the largest meteor impacts to have left its imprint on the earth's geology of today. All of our sapphires are cut on our premises and are available loose or mounted in a custom setting. It was a key part of the Mineral Revolution This massive goldfield is 100 kilometers (60 miles) long and 3.6 kilometers (12,000 feet) deep in certain places. Gold is found in the conglomerate strata of the younger members of the Supergroup, locally referred to as banket. It is estimated the 40% of all of the gold ever mined has come out of the Basin. The resulting 2500 m thick layer of rock is termed the “Central Rand Group”. The University of the Witwatersrand (also known as WITS) comes with different categories of Application Forms 2021 for prospective students. Located 45km south-west of Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa, South Deep is also the seventh deepest mine in the world, with a mine depth up to 2,998m below the surface. There was no free oxygen in earth's atmosphere until about 2000 million years ago, but there were photosynthesizing cyanobacteria. Mining has been taking place within the WBP … This quartzite layer can be seen lying on its granite base in Johannesburg, where it forms a 56 km long east-west ridge over which several rivers running to the north form waterfalls, giving rise to the name Witwatersrand, which in Afrikaans means “Ridge of White Waters”. Here the gold is associated with other minerals, especially iron pyrite and uraninite, as well as carbon rich materials such as kerogen, or bitumen, which occurs in small balls less than 1 mm (0.04 in) in size, called “flyspeck carbon”, or as continuous layers about 10–20 mm (0.4–0.8 in) thick. . Harrison declared his claim with the then-government of the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek (ZAR), and in September 1886 President Paul Kruger issued a proclamation declaring nine farms public mining diggings, starting on 20 September 1886. p. 81-83. [6][12] Within 60 million years, up to 4500 m of sediment had accumulated on the granite base, to become the “West Rand Group” of rocks that contribute over 60% of the total thickness of the Witwatersrand Supergroup. Located in South Africa, the Witwatersrand Basin represents the richest gold field ever discovered. existed among the natives of the area, it was not until 1886, when a poor Australian prospector named George Harrison staked the first claim, that the vast riches of the “Rand” were discovered. There are unfortunately no gold deposits in these outcrops. In retaliation, the uitlanders and the British mining interests joined forces to overthrow the Boer government. Gold was discovered in the area known as Witwatersrand, triggering what would become the Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1886. The Witwatersrand Basin is a largely underground geological formation which surfaces in the Witwatersrand. Most of the basin is deeply buried under younger rocks, but outcrops occur in Gauteng, the Free State, as well as in some of the surrounding Provinces. 297–301. (1999). Our sapphires are not synthetic, heated to extreme temperatures, diffused, irradiated, glass filled or oiled. It is also the reason behind the South African currency gaining the moniker of “Rand” in 1961. How Do You Best Establish the Value of a Sapphire? The extreme economic significance of this g… The gold in the Witwatersrand Basin area was deposited in Archean river deltas having been washed down from surrounding gold-rich greenstone belts to the north and west. The University Wits is a phrase used to name a group of late 16th-century English playwrights and pamphleteers who were educated at the universities (Oxford or … These rich gold bearing reefs stretch from 40 miles east of Johannesburg to 90 miles west and even further into the province of the Free State. The University of the Witwatersrand Undergraduate Application Form 2022/2023 and postgraduate Admission Application Form 2022/2023 has been released online. The Natural Sapphire Company Videos on YouTube | Founded in 1896 as the South African School of Mines in Kimberley, it is the third oldest South African university in continuous operation. [2][6][12] The kerogen, or bitumen, that is found in association with the gold deposits almost certainly represents what remains of these Archean photosynthesizing micro-organisms.[6]. Although legends of a South African. [6] The floor of this newly formed “Witwatersrand sea” consisted of smoothly eroded granites. To learn even more about topics related to precious metals, head over to More Precious Metal Details. The area has also featured dedicated botanical gardens to help preserve regions of the land. A view of the farm Langlaagte where gold was discovered in 1886. Thousands of exquisite, natural, untreated sapphires to choose from, matched perfectly with our beautiful, custom designed, hand crafted settings. Gold rushes throughout the world have created massive cultural shifts that resonate to this day. Sandy sediments brought in by rivers from the north started being deposited on the granite about 2970 million years ago. It houses five faculties which comprise 34 schools. The oldest rocks (laid down 2.97 billion years ago) form the northern scarp of the Witwatersrand plateau; the youngest (laid down 2.71 billion years ago) are those that form the southern edge of the plateau. Good Reading: Why Natural Sapphires? [1] Harrison had stumbled on the Main Reef conglomerate (part of the “Johannesburg Subgroup” of rocks — see illustration above). The “Central Rand Group” of deposits was brought to an abrupt end by massive outpourings of lava, which form the Ventersdorp lavas which erupted 2715 million years ago. [7] Gold mining in these buried portions of the Witwatersrand Supergroup is sometimes carried out at depths of 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) below the surface.[6][8]. The University of Witwatersrand is a leading public university strategically established in the industrial and commercial heart of South Africa. Wits is known for its work in deep level mining, science, health sciences, accountancy, law, governance, and the humanities, amongst others. Available Mon - Fri Our natural untreated sapphires offer true beauty, rarity and superior value compared to treated sapphires. Tambo International Airport) in the east, through Johannesburg and Roodepoort, to Krugersdorp in the west (see the diagram at left below).[2]. The gold bearing rocks are limited to 6 sites where Archean rivers from the north and west formed fan deltas, with many braided channels, before flowing into the “Witwatersrand Sea” to the south, where the earlier sediments that form the older rocks of the Witwatersrand Supergroup had been deposited. [1] This east-west-running scarp can be traced with only one short gap, from Bedfordview (about 10 km [6 mi] west of O.R. His brother Thomas was the first chairman. (1996). David Lewis-Williams, Professor emeritus of Cognitive Archaeology at the University of the Witwatersrand; specialist in Upper-Palaeolithic and Bushmen rock art; founder of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand Wits’ commitment to social justice has meant it’s played a key role during historical moments in South Africa, with many Witwatersrand alumni becoming icons, both historically and today. The university has its roots in the mining industry, as do Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand in general. Today, the Witwatersrand reef is part of the “golden arc,” an ancient inland lake containing rich deposits of alluvial gold. This protected it from erosion later on; but, possibly more importantly, bringing it to the surface close to the crater rim, near Johannesburg. 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