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. The university has its roots in the mining industry, as do Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand in general. Like the diamond discoveries before, the gold rush caused thousands of foreign expatriates to prospect and mine the region. It is a range of hills in the Gauteng province South Africa that contains most of the worlds gold reserves. Sun: 10:00am - 6:00pm ET, Hours Available South Deep was known by the name Western Areas Gold Mine until 2000.  The floor of this newly formed “Witwatersrand sea” consisted of smoothly eroded granites. This protected it from erosion later on; but, possibly more importantly, bringing it to the surface close to the crater rim, near Johannesburg. The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg , is a multi-campus South African public research university situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg. , Apart from the obvious hollowing out of the rocks below southern Johannesburg, causing unpredictable sinkholes, surface instabilities and earth tremors, the bringing to the surface of rocks that had been laid down in oxygen-free conditions had unforeseen effects. 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. 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. Harrison is believed to have sold his claim for less than £10 before leaving the area, and he was never heard from again. We're here to help! The Boer farmers denied these “uitlanders” voting rights and mounted heavy taxes on the gold industry.  The gold-bearing conglomerates occur chiefly in the upper, younger layers of the Witwatersrand Supergroup of rocks, on the southern side of the Witwatersrand plateau. The resulting 2500 m thick layer of rock is termed the “Central Rand Group”. 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 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. Committed to academic and research excellence, Wits generates high level scarce skills for a globally competitive world, while addressing local social and economic development. Demuvawatha, Ratnapura Silver, uranium, and iridium are recovered as gold-refining by-products. The larger Johannesburg Metropolitan Area is also known as the Witwatersrand (“Ridge of White Waters”). 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. This massive goldfield is 100 kilometers (60 miles) long and 3.6 kilometers (12,000 feet) deep in certain places. A mine corridor in the Witwatersrand complex. , Ridge of erosion resistant rock in South Africa, Consequences of mining the ancient Witwatersrand rocks. Some of these gold bearing fan deltas are now at depths of 4 km below the surface. It was laid down in two stages, over the course of 260 million years starting just short of 3000 million years ago. Mon - Fri: 10:30am - 6:00pm ET Known commonly as Wits University, its mission is to uphold liberty of inquiry and the continuing pursuit of knowledge and truth. 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). , The Witwatersrand basin was created during the Archean Eon, and is therefore amongst the oldest geological structures on earth. Today, the Witwatersrand reef is part of the “golden arc,” an ancient inland lake containing rich deposits of alluvial gold. , As the sea deepened finer grained and muddy sediments accumulated. The Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a gold rush in 1886 that led to the establishment of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the source of over 40% of the. 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. The basin is famous for its very large deposits of gold and uranium that occur as detrital minerals in conglomerates. Commonly known as “Wits”, the University of the Witwatersrand developed out of the South African School of Mines, set up in Kimberley in 1896. It is also the reason behind the South African currency gaining the moniker of “Rand” in 1961. Over 50,000 metric tons of gold were mined here, making up 50% of the total gold mined on our planet. Our natural untreated sapphires offer true beauty, rarity and superior value compared to treated sapphires. The Witwatersrand Rifles Regiment ceased to exist when it was renamed Bambathat Rifles in August 2019. The Natural Sapphire Company Reviews on TrustPilot | University of Witwatersrand Information. Discovery of the Witwatersrand … It was a key part of the Mineral Revolution 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. It is also the reason behind the South African currency gaining the moniker of “Rand” in 1961. 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. The diamonds have been studied by researchers and reveal secrets of how the Earth worked more than 3.5 billion years ago. Harrison's original Zoekers' (in English: seekers', or prospectors') Claim No 19 was declared a national monument in 1944, and named Harrison's Park. While the ultimate source of the gold in the Witwatersrand reef is unknown, the general disposition of the deposits is recognizable and continuous. We invite you to send us a message through our website at any time. The gold bearing meteorite events occurred millions of years after the segregation of the earth's core. 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. Available Mon - Fri There were no continents during the early stages of the Archean Eon, but island arcs did form. at approximately the time that the Kaapvaal Craton formed). 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. It is clear that for the next 200 million years the flood plain was repeatedly inundated, sometimes eroded, and sediments re-deposited. His brother Thomas was the first chairman. 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. In retaliation, the uitlanders and the British mining interests joined forces to overthrow the Boer government. 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. Founded in 1896 as the South African School of Mines in Kimberley, it is the third oldest South African university in continuous operation. It is the source of over 40% of the gold extracted from the Earth. Image courtesy of Galen R. Frysinger. As gold fever crested, the steady influx of foreigners was unsettling to Boer farmers who were already established in the region. What Is The Color Of a Padparadscha Sapphire?  A meteor 10–15 km across created a 300 km diameter crater, distorting all the rock strata within that circle. #Witsie4Life Storytelling Series Wits Alumni Relations presents the #Witsie4Life storytelling series, shining a light on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The outcrop in Gauteng forms the Witwatersrand ridge, from which the basin and its rocks derive their name. 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. Deposition of the predominantly siliciclastic basin fill began shortly after 2985 Ma in a shallow marine environment, maybe along a passive margin to an old continent to the north(west), and under generally cool climatic conditions (West Rand Group).  From there on they are almost everywhere, with very few exceptions (see below), covered by younger rocks. Commonly known as Wits University or just Wits, the University Of Witwatersrand is a multi-campus public research university in South Africa that is … , 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. It is estimated the 40% of all of the gold ever mined has come out of the Basin.  Its size and position relative to Southern Africa today are indicated in the diagram on the left. 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”. It is the source of over 40% of the gold extracted from the Earth. 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. 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 the past 150 million years, but especially during the last 20 million years. 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. p. 81-83.  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.  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 vast majority of the Earth's gold and other heavy metals are locked up in the earth's core. What Does ‘Natural’ and ‘Untreated’ Mean? 6 East 45th St, 20th Floor 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. Witwatersrand and the Rand are names for the conurbation that developed along the range, although the terms are falling into disuse and Witwatersrand was the "W" in PWV (Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging), the initial name of Gauteng province.  In fact, apart from the Witwatersrand outcrops (i.e. 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 resulting 2500–4500 m thick layer of sediments is termed the “West Rand Group” of Witwatersrand rocks. Geological map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (1970). 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.  Since this gold was embedded in a conglomerate, it was first assumed that this was alluvial gold in an old riverbed, that had been tilted as a result of earth movements. The Witwatersrand plateau forms a continental divide, with the run-off to the north draining into the Indian Ocean via the Crocodile and Limpopo rivers, while the run-off to the south drains via the Vaal into the Orange River and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean.. Iron pyrite (FeS2), which is relatively plentiful in the gold ores of the Witwatersrand, oxidises to insoluble ferric oxide (Fe2O3) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The area is famous for being the source of 40% of the gold ever mined from the earth. Tambo International Airport) in the east, through Johannesburg and Roodepoort, to Krugersdorp in the west (see the diagram at left below).. The result was alternating red and gray layers of mud which, when consolidated, became banded ironstones. The Witwatersrand escarpment has immense geological significance, and its rock formations and rock composition yield valuable geological data to scientists. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London.  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. Tillite deposits, dating from 2950 million years ago, are indicative of the first glaciation episodes on earth. There are unfortunately no gold deposits in these outcrops. The rocks of the "Rand" or reef, as the Witwatersrand is sometimes known, are rich in uranium and gold. It is more commonly known as Wits University or Wits (/vəts/ or /vɪts/). A view of the farm Langlaagte where gold was discovered in 1886. It houses five faculties which comprise 34 schools. The gold was in its free elemental form. At the Natural Sapphire Company we specialize in providing our customers with the finest quality natural sapphires. pp. The abundance of this gold is without a natural equal anywhere else in the world. Located in South Africa, the Witwatersrand Basin represents the richest gold field ever discovered.  This heralded the historic Witwatersrand Gold Rush. Gold is found in the conglomerate strata of the younger members of the Supergroup, locally referred to as banket. The scarp forms the northern edge of a 7-to-10-kilometre-wide (4–6 mi) plateau (or ridge) which rises about 200 m (660 ft) above the surrounding plains of the Highveld. (1982). This heightened political tensions in the area, ultimately contributing to the Second Boer War in 1899. The meteor impact, however, lowered the Witwatersrand basin inside the crater. Mining has been taking place within the WBP … New York, NY 10017, Mining & Sourcing But changing geographical conditions resulted in the accumulation of a wide variety of sediments, ranging from mud, to sand, to gravel, and banded ironstones. Our sapphires are not synthetic, heated to extreme temperatures, diffused, irradiated, glass filled or oiled. Earth System History. The area has also featured dedicated botanical gardens to help preserve regions of the land. 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. 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.  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”. 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. Mon - Fri: 10:30am - 6:00pm ET Cyanobacteria grew in relative abundance in these mineral rich waters. 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 … Witwatersrand Gold Rush - WikiMili, The Free Encyclopedia - WikiMili, The Free Encyclopedia. All of our sapphires are cut on our premises and are available loose or mounted in a custom setting.  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 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. 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.  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. This massive goldfield is 100 kilometers (60 miles) long and 3.6 kilometers (12,000 feet) deep in certain places. 297–301. The University of the Witwatersrand (also known as WITS) comes with different categories of Application Forms 2021 for prospective students. Sun: 10:00am - 6:00pm ET. Although many of the older mines, around Johannesburg, are now nearly exhausted, the Witwatersrand Basin still produces most of South Africa's gold and much of the total world output. The Witwatersrand Supergroup strata which reach the surface in Johannesburg dip downwards to the south at an angle of about 30°. In addition to the founding of Johannesburg, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a major factor leading to the Second Boer War. The managed mineral reserve at South Deep as of December 2018 stood at 32.8Moz. 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 what is now known … Gold occurs only along the northern and western margins of this basin, but not in a continuous band. pp. Famous for experiments in probability performed while interned (in Denmark) during the second world war. W.H. The gold fields of the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa are, by a landslide, the largest single gold producing district in the world.  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. (1996). Celebrate our journey towards the Wits Centenary in 2022. The Witwatersrand is a word in Afrikaans which means “The Ridge of white waters”. Production does not come easy though. ’’What is Life?’’. 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. List of famous alumni from University of the Witwatersrand, with photos when available. . Although legends of a South African. 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. The University of Witwatersrand is a leading public university strategically established in the industrial and commercial heart of South Africa.  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. 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). At night these reactions stopped. 10:30am - 6pm ET, Showroom & Workshop Sat: 1:00pm - 4:00pm ET 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 Good Reading: Why Natural Sapphires? Sapphire Specialists, in New York City Since 1939. It is this area in which the main gold reserves, the lifeblood of the province, are found. Prominent graduates from University of the Witwatersrand include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. The plateau's elevation above sea-level is between 1700 and 1800 metres (5600–5900 ft). It was a key part of the Mineral Revolution. To learn even more about topics related to precious metals, head over to More Precious Metal Details. 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. 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 park is on the busy Main Reef Road, immediately west of Nasrec Road. 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. 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. A number of picturesque Johannesburg Suburbs, including Observatory, Linksfield Ridge and Upper Houghton are located on the ridge, overlooking the northern parts of Johannesburg. 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. The institution moved to Johannesburg in 1904 and acquired full university status in 1922. The Natural Sapphire Company Videos on YouTube | 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 Natural Sapphire Company Reviews on, The Witwatersrand Gold Rush initiated South Africa’s domination of world gold production. The University of the Witwatersrand Undergraduate Application Form 2022/2023 and postgraduate Admission Application Form 2022/2023 has been released online. The Witwatersrand Basin is a largely underground geological formation which surfaces in the Witwatersrand. As with the California Gold Rush, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush had extensive social and political implications. 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. Thank you for trusting us with your sapphire purchase! Council for Geoscience, Geological Survey of South Africa. Margulis, L., Sagan, D. (1995). The “West Rand Group” and “Central Rand Group” of rocks together form the “Witwatersrand Supergroup”, the full horizontal extent of which is termed the Witwatersrand Basin.. Shafts go down some 3,900 meters b… About 3000 million years ago local cooling of the underlying asthenosphere caused subsidence of the south eastern portion of this microcontinent below sea level.  Harrison had stumbled on the Main Reef conglomerate (part of the “Johannesburg Subgroup” of rocks — see illustration above). University of the Witwatersrand Application Form.  The kerogen, or bitumen, that is found in association with the gold deposits almost certainly represents what remains of these Archean photosynthesizing micro-organisms..  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. "Engineering Geology of Southern Africa". Thousands of exquisite, natural, untreated sapphires to choose from, matched perfectly with our beautiful, custom designed, hand crafted settings. 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. Over 40000 tonnes (44000 short tons) have been mined from these rocks since this precious metal was first discovered here in 1886.  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. Freeman and Company, New York.  The entire series of rocks, known as the “Witwatersrand Supergroup’’ consists of quartzites, banded ironstones, mudstones, tillites, conglomerates and some marine lava deposits. 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