The Origins Centre is presenting a lecture by Prof. Morris Viljoen entitled The Witwatersrand: The world's greatest gold deposit - It's geology, history, entrepreneurs and environment.
Viljoen is a professor in the Department of Geoscience at Wits University. This talk, co-hosted by the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA), promises far more than a review of the origin and nature of the gold bearing reefs, which led to Johannesburg and greater Egoli’s position as one of the most important financial hubs on the African Continent.
Viljoen details the saga of the Randlords and entrepreneurs who developed the industry and the city, the mine workers from all over southern Africa who laboured under the toughest of conditions, and the technologies used to mine the narrow reefs at great depths. He looks at the current re-processing of the tailings dams as well as the mining of lower grade reef material left behind where mining started 126 years ago.
The legacy of the environmental impacts of mining on the Witwatersrand is also outlined with particular reference to dust and acid mine drainage. Finally, the future of the huge remaining gold resource in the Witwatersrand basin is discussed, as well as the promotion of this unique Witwatersrand legacy.
Viljoen has worked extensively on mining projects throughout southern Africa and led the team that modeled and re-evaluated the Central Rand Goldfield.