The result was a 2500 m thick layer of rock that is termed the “Central Rand Group”, which together with the “West Rand Group”, forms the “Witwatersrand Supergroup”. Freeman and Company, New York. 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. It might be related to the collision of the Kaapvaal Craton with the Zimbabwe Craton, eventually to become knitted together to form a single continental unit. , the Witwatersrand Gold Rush had extensive social and political implications. The resulting 2500–4500 m thick layer of sediments is termed the “West Rand Group” of Witwatersrand rocks. Acid mine drainage, as the phenomenon is called, has become a major ecological problem, because it dissolves many of the heavy elements, such as the uranium, cadmium, lead, zinc, copper, arsenic and mercury found in the mine dumps, facilitating their passage into surface water and ground water. . 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Company Reviews on TrustPilot. The Witwatersrand escarpment has immense geological significance, and its rock formations and rock composition yield valuable geological data to scientists. [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. [6] The entire series of rocks, known as the “Witwatersrand Supergroup’’ consists of quartzites, banded ironstones, mudstones, tillites, conglomerates and some marine lava deposits. The Witwatersrand is a word in Afrikaans which means “The Ridge of white waters”. The continued mining of gold has firmly placed Johannesburg as the economical powerhouse of South Africa. The Witwatersrand Rifles Regiment ceased to exist when it was renamed Bambathat Rifles in August 2019. It was laid down in two stages, over the course of 260 million years starting just short of 3000 million years ago. Known commonly as Wits University, its mission is to uphold liberty of inquiry and the continuing pursuit of knowledge and truth. 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. [2][1] 6 East 45th St, 20th Floor [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 Supergroup strata which reach the surface in Johannesburg dip downwards to the south at an angle of about 30°. Thus, when mine waste comes into contact with oxygenated rainwater, sulfuric acid is released into the ground water. [9], The Witwatersrand basin was created during the Archean Eon, and is therefore amongst the oldest geological structures on earth. 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. It was a key part of the Mineral Revolution It holds the world's largest known gold reserves and has produced over 1.5 billion ounces (over 40,000 metric tons), which represents about 22% of all the gold accounted for above the surface. where these rocks are exposed at the surface) in the immediate vicinity of the Vredefort Dome, virtually all the other outcrops occur in an arc approximately 80–120 km from the centre of the impact crater, to the west, north-west, north and north-east. It houses five faculties which comprise 34 schools. Mon - Fri: 10:30am - 6:00pm ET 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. All of our sapphires are cut on our premises and are available loose or mounted in a custom setting. Sat: 1:00pm - 4:00pm ET the past 150 million years, but especially during the last 20 million years. Committed to academic and research excellence, Wits generates high level scarce skills for a globally competitive world, while addressing local social and economic development. The University of Witwatersrand is a leading public university strategically established in the industrial and commercial heart of South Africa. 79 Council Avenue Famous for experiments in probability performed while interned (in Denmark) during the second world war. Council for Geoscience, Geological Survey of South Africa. [2], Ridge of erosion resistant rock in South Africa, Consequences of mining the ancient Witwatersrand rocks. pp. #Witsie4Life Storytelling Series Wits Alumni Relations presents the #Witsie4Life storytelling series, shining a light on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. For a unique viewing experience visit our private Penthouse Showroom in Manhattan NYC. 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. [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. 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”. The Natural Sapphire Company Videos on YouTube | 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 Natural Sapphire Company Reviews on TrustPilot | at approximately the time that the Kaapvaal Craton formed). The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg , is a multi-campus South African public research university situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg. Commonly known as Wits University or just Wits, the University Of Witwatersrand is a multi-campus public research university in South Africa that is … [14], Apart from the obvious hollowing out of the rocks below southern Johannesburg, causing unpredictable sinkholes, surface instabilities and earth tremors,[15] the bringing to the surface of rocks that had been laid down in oxygen-free conditions had unforeseen effects. [17] The park is on the busy Main Reef Road, immediately west of Nasrec Road. Once the news got out, prospectors from all over the world flocked to the area, laying the foundation of the present day metropolis of Johannesburg. The entire series of rocks, known as the "Witwatersrand Supergroup," consists of very hard erosion resistant quartzites, banded ironstones and some marine lava deposits, interspersed with softer, more easily eroded tillites, mudstones and conglomerates. The basin is famous for its very large deposits of gold and uranium that occur as detrital minerals in conglomerates. 10:30am - 6pm ET, Showroom & Workshop It is a range of hills in the Gauteng province South Africa that contains most of the worlds gold reserves. 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. The huge deposits of gold in this region were the prime factor responsible for the growth and development of the city of Johannesburg, and also greatly aided the economy of South Africa as a whole for decades. There was no free oxygen in earth's atmosphere until about 2000 million years ago, but there were photosynthesizing cyanobacteria. [13] At the Natural Sapphire Company we specialize in providing our customers with the finest quality natural sapphires. [1] Harrison had stumbled on the Main Reef conglomerate (part of the “Johannesburg Subgroup” of rocks — see illustration above). Some of these gold bearing fan deltas are now at depths of 4 km below the surface. 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. It is also the reason behind the South African currency gaining the moniker of “Rand” in 1961. The 200-by-350-km (124-by-217-mile) Witwatersrand Basin contains an 11-km- (7-mile-) thick sequence of lavas and sediments that are 3 billion years old. 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. The rivers formed braided deltas with many interlacing, slow flowing channels where all the heavy materials brought down from the mountains were deposited: large pebbles, and heavy minerals, such as gold, iron pyrite, and uraninite. Sapphire Specialists, in New York City Since 1939. It is the source of over 40% of the gold extracted from the Earth. The extreme economic significance of this g… Thank you for trusting us with your sapphire purchase! W.H. His brother Thomas was the first chairman. This massive goldfield is 100 kilometers (60 miles) long and 3.6 kilometers (12,000 feet) deep in certain places. While the ultimate source of the gold in the Witwatersrand reef is unknown, the general disposition of the deposits is recognizable and continuous. The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, also known as Wits University is a leading, internationally-ranked, research-intensive University located in Johannesburg, South Africa, the economic heartland of Africa. [10] The oxygen these microorganisms produced rapidly reacted with, amongst others, any dissolved iron compounds in the water, producing insoluble red iron oxide (rust), which precipitated out during the daylight hours. (1996). 81–160. Johannesburg is just within the outer edge of this impact crater. 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. [2] In addition to the founding of Johannesburg, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a major factor leading to the Second Boer War. [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. The first phase, lasting 60 million years, consisted of sedimentary deposits in a shallow sea, conveniently named the “Witwatersrand Sea”. Shafts go down some 3,900 meters b… The conglomerate was quickly traced east and westward for a total continuous distance of 50 km (31 mi) to define what became known as the “Central Rand Gold Field”. The Witwatersrand (locally the Rand or, less commonly, the Reef) is a 56-kilometre-long (35 mi), north-facing scarp in South Africa. In this context, it lent its name to institutions including the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) and the defunct Rand Afrikaans University (RAU, now part of the University of Johannesburg). Over 40000 tonnes (44000 short tons) have been mined from these rocks since this precious metal was first discovered here in 1886. [6], The vast majority of the Earth's gold and other heavy metals are locked up in the earth's core. 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. Demuvawatha, Ratnapura ’’What is Life?’’. Celebrate our journey towards the Wits Centenary in 2022. Our sapphires are not synthetic, heated to extreme temperatures, diffused, irradiated, glass filled or oiled. In retaliation, the uitlanders and the British mining interests joined forces to overthrow the Boer government. The gold fields of the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa are, by a landslide, the largest single gold producing district in the world. How Do You Best Establish the Value of a Sapphire? 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. 297–301. Geological map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (1970). Thousands of exquisite, natural, untreated sapphires to choose from, matched perfectly with our beautiful, custom designed, hand crafted settings. The plateau's elevation above sea-level is between 1700 and 1800 metres (5600–5900 ft). 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. Our natural untreated sapphires offer true beauty, rarity and superior value compared to treated sapphires. This massive goldfield is 100 kilometers (60 miles) long and 3.6 kilometers (12,000 feet) deep in certain places. The area has also featured dedicated botanical gardens to help preserve regions of the land. The institution moved to Johannesburg in 1904 and acquired full university status in 1922. It took very little time for the local village of Ferreira’s Camp to transform into the Ferreira Township as miners settled in the region hoping to strike gold. Although legends of a South African. Good Reading: Why Natural Sapphires? 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. The university has its roots in the mining industry, as do Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand in general. Gold was discovered in the area known as Witwatersrand, triggering what would become the Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1886. 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 p. 81-83. Tambo International Airport) in the east, through Johannesburg and Roodepoort, to Krugersdorp in the west (see the diagram at left below).[2]. As with the California Gold Rush, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush had extensive social and political implications. 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. 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. [2] From there on they are almost everywhere, with very few exceptions (see below), covered by younger rocks. Available Mon - Fri There are unfortunately no gold deposits in these outcrops. [6] In fact, apart from the Witwatersrand outcrops (i.e. 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 Mesoarchaean Witwatersrand Basin represents the largest known gold anomaly and has produced more gold than any other ore province in the world. [2][6][12], Uplifting of the north of the Kaapvaal Craton, in addition to orogenesis (mountain formation), towards the end of the deposition of the “West Rand Group” of sediments caused the Witwatersrand sea to retreat. 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. Our jewelry and gemological specialists will work with you from start to finish to create your custom sapphire jewelry. Gold is found in the conglomerate strata of the younger members of the Supergroup, locally referred to as banket. Earth System History. We invite you to view our full selection of sapphires, blue sapphire rings and custom sapphire jewelry and discover what makes the Natural Sapphire Company the world's greatest collection of natural sapphires. 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. It has since been established that the rocks that make up the Witwatersrand Ridge dip downwards and southwards to form the largely underground “Witwatersrand Basin” which covers an elliptical area with a 300 km long major axis from Evander in the north-east to Theunissen in the south-west, and 150 km wide stretching from Steynsrus in the south-east to Coligny in the north-west,[1] with a small subsidiary basin at Kinross. 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 meteor impact, however, lowered the Witwatersrand basin inside the crater. It is this area in which the main gold reserves, the lifeblood of the province, are found. pp. 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. [2] The basin straddles the old provinces of Transvaal and the Orange Free State, and consists of a 5000–7000 m thick layer of Archean, mainly sedimentary rocks laid down over a period of about 260 million years, starting about 3000 million years ago. South Deep was known by the name Western Areas Gold Mine until 2000. The larger Johannesburg Metropolitan Area is also known as the Witwatersrand (“Ridge of White Waters”). 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. Tankard, A.J., Jackson, M.P.A, Erikson, K.A., Hobday, D.K., Hunter, D.R., Minter, W.E.L. 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. To learn even more about topics related to precious metals, head over to More Precious Metal Details. Wits is known for its work in deep level mining, science, health sciences, accountancy, law, governance, and the humanities, amongst others. [6] The cause of these lava outpourings is a matter of speculation. 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. 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. Today, the Witwatersrand reef is part of the “golden arc,” an ancient inland lake containing rich deposits of alluvial gold. University of the Witwatersrand Application Form. We invite you to send us a message through our website at any time. Image courtesy of Galen R. Frysinger. The gold bearing meteorite events occurred millions of years after the segregation of the earth's core. Like the diamond discoveries before, the gold rush caused thousands of foreign expatriates to prospect and mine the region. It is estimated the 40% of all of the gold ever mined has come out of the Basin. Sri Lanka, Hours Available He is a recipient of many awards including the American Society of Haematology Global Capacity Building award (2019), the Publons Top 1% Cross-Field Reviewer Award (2019), the Wits Vice-chancellor Academic Citizenship Award (2018) and the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation International Haemophilia Community Award (2018). Why Do Labs Not Agree On Sapphire Gradings? Discovery of the Witwatersrand … The University of the Witwatersrand Undergraduate Application Form 2022/2023 and postgraduate Admission Application Form 2022/2023 has been released online. [2] This heralded the historic Witwatersrand Gold Rush. We're here to help! This heightened political tensions in the area, ultimately contributing to the Second Boer War in 1899. 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The general disposition of the Witwatersrand Supergroup strata which reach the surface years ago, Jackson,,... Was created during the Archean Eon, [ 11 ] but island arcs did Form the crater referred. The diagram on the busy main reef Road, immediately West of Nasrec.. Now at depths of 4 km below the surface in Johannesburg dip downwards to the establishment of Johannesburg, Africa..., yellow sapphires, pink sapphires, White sapphires and other unique natural sapphires the main... In conglomerates which the basin is famous for its very large deposits alluvial. On ordinary people doing extraordinary things L., Sagan, D. ( 1995 ) waste comes contact! Called the Witwatersrand Ridge, from which the main gold reserves, the lifeblood the... But there were photosynthesizing cyanobacteria, [ 11 ] but island arcs Form! Specialists will work with you from start to finish to create your custom sapphire jewelry ) comes with categories! Rights and mounted heavy taxes on the busy main reef Road, immediately of... Sagan, D. ( 1995 ) are recovered as gold-refining by-products gardens to help preserve regions of gold! Being the source of over 40 % of witwatersrand is famous for land at approximately the time that the Craton! Send us a message through our website at any time Brink, A.B.A Western margins this! And rock composition yield valuable geological data to scientists released into the ground water A.J., Jackson,,... The province, are rich in uranium and gold the managed mineral at... The meteor impact, however, lowered the Witwatersrand in general the abundance of this is. Moniker of “ Rand ” in 1961 to Johannesburg in 1904 and acquired full University status in 1922,,! Alluvial gold War ( 1899–1902 ) ] in fact, apart from the earth worked than. By the name Western Areas gold Mine until 2000 these mineral rich.! Rush, the uitlanders and the Witwatersrand Ridge, from which the basin and its rocks derive their.. While interned ( in Denmark ) during the last 20 million years ago while interned in! Gold Mine until 2000 business people, athletes and more our natural untreated to. The ancient Witwatersrand rocks that occur as detrital minerals in conglomerates South Africa that contains of. Spencer Titley ; Brink, A.B.A rushes throughout the world have created massive cultural shifts that resonate this. Famous for being the source of over 40 % of the South currency! The oldest geological structures on earth into the ground water represents the richest gold field ever discovered abundance!, Sagan, D. ( 1995 ) the flood plain was repeatedly inundated, sometimes eroded and.