Thousands of exquisite, natural, untreated sapphires to choose from, matched perfectly with our beautiful, custom designed, hand crafted settings. Stanley, S.M. There were no continents during the early stages of the Archean Eon,[11] but island arcs did form. Good Reading: Why Natural Sapphires? The gold bearing meteorite events occurred millions of years after the segregation of the earth's core. [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. Tankard, A.J., Jackson, M.P.A, Erikson, K.A., Hobday, D.K., Hunter, D.R., Minter, W.E.L. The gold fields of the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa are, by a landslide, the largest single gold producing district in the world. This massive goldfield is 100 kilometers (60 miles) long and 3.6 kilometers (12,000 feet) deep in certain places. 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. [3] The entire plateau-like structure is also often called the Witwatersrand. Gold rushes throughout the world have created massive cultural shifts that resonate to this day. His brother Thomas was the first chairman. The basin is famous for its very large deposits of gold and uranium that occur as detrital minerals in conglomerates. 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. Production does not come easy though. [2][1] It is also the reason behind the South African currency gaining the moniker of “Rand” in 1961. This heightened political tensions in the area, ultimately contributing to the Second Boer War in 1899. 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. Johannesburg is just within the outer edge of this impact crater. The Witwatersrand escarpment has immense geological significance, and its rock formations and rock composition yield valuable geological data to scientists. [2], Ridge of erosion resistant rock in South Africa, Consequences of mining the ancient Witwatersrand rocks. The oldest rocks (laid down 2.97 billion years … As gold fever crested, the steady influx of foreigners was unsettling to Boer farmers who were already established in the region. The Witwatersrand (locally the Rand or, less commonly, the Reef) is a 56-kilometre-long (35 mi), north-facing scarp in South Africa. Building Publications, Pretoria. In retaliation, the uitlanders and the British mining interests joined forces to overthrow the Boer government. [2][6] A meteor 10–15 km across created a 300 km diameter crater, distorting all the rock strata within that circle. 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. Harrison's original Zoekers' (in English: seekers', or prospectors') Claim No 19 was declared a national monument in 1944, and named Harrison's Park. 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 The abundance of this gold is without a natural equal anywhere else in the world. Shafts go down some 3,900 meters b… 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. Image courtesy of Galen R. Frysinger. [17] The park is on the busy Main Reef Road, immediately west of Nasrec Road. We're here to help! the past 150 million years, but especially during the last 20 million years. Mon - Fri: 10:30am - 6:00pm ET 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. The Witwatersrand Rifles Regiment ceased to exist when it was renamed Bambathat Rifles in August 2019. Commonly known as Wits University or just Wits, the University Of Witwatersrand is a multi-campus public research university in South Africa that is … The gold was in its free elemental form. 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. 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Company Reviews on TrustPilot. Today, the Witwatersrand reef is part of the “golden arc,” an ancient inland lake containing rich deposits of alluvial gold. 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 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. Evidence from tungsten isotope studies indicates that most gold in the crust is derived from gold in the mantle which resulted from a meteorite bombardment some 3900 million years ago (i.e. Thus, when mine waste comes into contact with oxygenated rainwater, sulfuric acid is released into the ground water. [10], As the sea deepened finer grained and muddy sediments accumulated. At the Natural Sapphire Company we specialize in providing our customers with the finest quality natural sapphires. The managed mineral reserve at South Deep as of December 2018 stood at 32.8Moz. The Natural Sapphire Company Videos on YouTube | Earth System History. p. 81-83. Demuvawatha, Ratnapura [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. 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] From there on they are almost everywhere, with very few exceptions (see below), covered by younger rocks. 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. It is the source of over 40% of the. What Is The Color Of a Padparadscha Sapphire? Our natural untreated sapphires offer true beauty, rarity and superior value compared to treated sapphires. #Witsie4Life Storytelling Series Wits Alumni Relations presents the #Witsie4Life storytelling series, shining a light on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. 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. 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. South Deep was known by the name Western Areas Gold Mine until 2000. It is a range of hills in the Gauteng province South Africa that contains most of the worlds gold reserves. As with the California Gold Rush, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush had extensive social and political implications. [13] A view of the farm Langlaagte where gold was discovered in 1886. 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. 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][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. At night these reactions stopped. Tambo International Airport) in the east, through Johannesburg and Roodepoort, to Krugersdorp in the west (see the diagram at left below).[2]. 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”. Witwatersrand and the Rand are names for the conurbation that developed along the range, although the terms are falling into disuse[citation needed] and Witwatersrand was the "W" in PWV (Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging), the initial name of Gauteng province. University of the Witwatersrand Application Form. [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. 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. Geological map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (1970). The outcrop in Gauteng forms the Witwatersrand ridge, from which the basin and its rocks derive their name. Cyanobacteria grew in relative abundance in these mineral rich waters. [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. 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 Natural Sapphire Company Reviews on TrustPilot | New York, NY 10017, Mining & Sourcing Margulis, L., Sagan, D. (1995). Like the diamond discoveries before, the gold rush caused thousands of foreign expatriates to prospect and mine the region. It was a key part of the Mineral Revolution. The result was alternating red and gray layers of mud which, when consolidated, became banded ironstones. pp. 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. Wits was ranked as the top university in South Africa in the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) in 2016. 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. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London. Prominent graduates from University of the Witwatersrand include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. 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