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 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”. 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. , The vast majority of the Earth's gold and other heavy metals are locked up in the earth's core. Commonly known as Wits University or just Wits, the University Of Witwatersrand is a multi-campus public research university in South Africa that is … All of our sapphires are cut on our premises and are available loose or mounted in a custom setting. Sun: 10:00am - 6:00pm ET, Hours Available It is this area in which the main gold reserves, the lifeblood of the province, are found. (1999). The University of Witwatersrand is a leading public university strategically established in the industrial and commercial heart of South Africa. Our sapphires are not synthetic, heated to extreme temperatures, diffused, irradiated, glass filled or oiled. The war continued for years through guerrilla warfare until heightened British actions put them at bay. Image courtesy of Galen R. Frysinger.  The entire series of rocks, known as the “Witwatersrand Supergroup’’ consists of quartzites, banded ironstones, mudstones, tillites, conglomerates and some marine lava deposits. The first phase, lasting 60 million years, consisted of sedimentary deposits in a shallow sea, conveniently named the “Witwatersrand Sea”.  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 diamonds have been studied by researchers and reveal secrets of how the Earth worked more than 3.5 billion years ago. Earth System History. There were no continents during the early stages of the Archean Eon, but island arcs did form. The Boer farmers denied these “uitlanders” voting rights and mounted heavy taxes on the gold industry. A view of the farm Langlaagte where gold was discovered in 1886. 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.  The park is on the busy Main Reef Road, immediately west of Nasrec Road. Located in South Africa, the Witwatersrand Basin represents the richest gold field ever discovered.  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.  The entire plateau-like structure is also often called the Witwatersrand. Why Do Labs Not Agree On Sapphire Gradings? Margulis, L., Sagan, D. (1995). How Do You Best Establish the Value of a Sapphire? In retaliation, the uitlanders and the British mining interests joined forces to overthrow the Boer government. Thousands of exquisite, natural, untreated sapphires to choose from, matched perfectly with our beautiful, custom designed, hand crafted settings. 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, with a small subsidiary basin at Kinross. 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. 79 Council Avenue As with the California Gold Rush, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush had extensive social and political implications. Gold is found in the conglomerate strata of the younger members of the Supergroup, locally referred to as banket. This sandy layer eventually became compressed to form the Orange Grove Quartzite, the lowermost layer of the Witwatersrand Supergroup. 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 … 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. 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. 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 resulting 2500–4500 m thick layer of sediments is termed the “West Rand Group” of Witwatersrand rocks. (1982). Sat: 1:00pm - 4:00pm ET The area is famous for being the source of 40% of the gold ever mined from the earth. Gold occurs only along the northern and western margins of this basin, but not in a continuous band. This massive goldfield is 100 kilometers (60 miles) long and 3.6 kilometers (12,000 feet) deep in certain places.  Harrison had stumbled on the Main Reef conglomerate (part of the “Johannesburg Subgroup” of rocks — see illustration above). p. 81-83. Tankard, A.J., Jackson, M.P.A, Erikson, K.A., Hobday, D.K., Hunter, D.R., Minter, W.E.L. 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. Discovery of the Witwatersrand … When George Harrison, probably accompanied by George Walker, found gold on the farm Langlaagte, 5 km (3 mi) west of what would become the city of Johannesburg, in an outcrop of conglomerate rocks, in February 1886, they assumed that this was alluvial gold in an old riverbed, that had been tilted as a result of earth movements. There was no free oxygen in earth's atmosphere until about 2000 million years ago, but there were photosynthesizing cyanobacteria.  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 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. 297–301. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London. ’’What is Life?’’. New York, NY 10017, Mining & Sourcing 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. We offer a vast selection of blue sapphires, pink sapphires, yellow sapphires, white sapphires and other unique natural sapphires. Gold was discovered in the area known as Witwatersrand, triggering what would become the Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1886. 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. Some of these gold bearing fan deltas are now at depths of 4 km below the surface. We invite you to send us a message through our website at any time.  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. Council for Geoscience, Geological Survey of South Africa. It houses five faculties which comprise 34 schools. . 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 gold fields of the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa are, by a landslide, the largest single gold producing district in the world. 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. Building Publications, Pretoria. Today, the Witwatersrand reef is part of the “golden arc,” an ancient inland lake containing rich deposits of alluvial gold . 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… The gold bearing meteorite events occurred millions of years after the segregation of the earth's core. His brother Thomas was the first chairman. At night these reactions stopped. Tillite deposits, dating from 2950 million years ago, are indicative of the first glaciation episodes on earth. 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. pp. 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. , As the sea deepened finer grained and muddy sediments accumulated. 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. University of Witwatersrand Information. The extreme economic significance of this g… Sun: 10:00am - 6:00pm ET. , 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. The resulting 2500 m thick layer of rock is termed the “Central Rand Group”. The Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a gold rush in 1886 that led to the establishment of Johannesburg, South Africa. About 3000 million years ago local cooling of the underlying asthenosphere caused subsidence of the south eastern portion of this microcontinent below sea level. It consists of a hard, erosion-resistant quartzite metamorphic rock, over which several north-flowing rivers form waterfalls, which account for the name Witwatersrand, meaning "ridge of white waters" in Afrikaans. Wits was ranked as the top university in South Africa in the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) in 2016.  This heralded the historic Witwatersrand Gold Rush. Like the diamond discoveries before, the gold rush caused thousands of foreign expatriates to prospect and mine the region. This heightened political tensions in the area, ultimately contributing to the Second Boer War in 1899. 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. 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. Thank you for trusting us with your sapphire purchase!  From there on they are almost everywhere, with very few exceptions (see below), covered by younger rocks. 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