Recollections of Adventures, by Harry Struben. 375 (2003): The debate on the origin of the Witwatersrand Gold (1896-1903). They discovered gold-bearing conglomerates on the farm Groot … Following their repatriation in 1910, they were replaced on the mines by the introduction of migrant Black labour, much of it recruited from neighbouring territories. Towards a people's history On the surface, a huge tidal-wave or Tsunami screamed northwards, taking the tops of the volcanic vents, or pipes, with it. Mining has been taking place within … Davis discovered the first gold in the Witwatersrand, leading to the South African gold rush and the discovery of much more gold deposits within the basin. The discovery of gold rapidly attracted people to the area, making necessary a name and governmental organisation for the area. These lavas were found in many places while gold-mining. Some carried little or no minerals. Within a year, more than 500,000 people (nicknamed “diggers”) rushed to the gold field s of Australia. University of Johannesburg, School of Mining, Library. The next theory was that this was a deep lake, that had filled with gold-bearing debris over the ages, from rivers entering at various points. Piercey (2013): Sedimentary origin of gold and uranium in the Archean Witwatersrand Supergroup, South Africa. The South African War of 1899-1901 saw a temporary downturn in Johannesburg's population, partly due to the exodus of the Uitlander [foreigner] community who fled the Reef, and partly to the departure of Dutch residents on commando duty. When George Harrison discovered the Main Reef of gold at Langlaagte farm in 1886, it was believed by many to be an old river that had been turned on its side. New towns were established to accommodate the huge influx of people. To understand exactly how much gold is in the world and when we may run out, a good first step is to look at current sources and production of gold.The largest single source of gold in history has been the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa. Please do not use these photos without permission from the copyright holder. Know something about this topic? The first crushing battery, consisting of five stamps, had been erected on the Reef in 1885 to service the Struben's excavations on the lower West Rand reef, but this was a small operation, and the first crushing machinery ordered specifically for the new Reef diggings began to arrive from the coast in 1887. These springs, heated to boiling far underground where water came into contact with hot rock in turn heated by lavas from the Rietfontein series of faults, carried iron-rich mud. The sub-division of what became the settlement's central district was a typical product of nineteenth century mining camp planning. The first recorded discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand was made by Jan Gerrit Bantjes in June 1884, on the farm Vogelstruisfontein, and was followed soon thereafter, in September, by the Struben brothers who uncovered the Confidence Reef on the farm Wilgespruit, near present-day Roodepoort. The prospectors Fred and Harry Struben made the first discovery of gold-bearing Witwatersrand Supergroup rocks in January 1884 on the farm Sterkfontein near Kromdraai. Capital, mine personnel and technical expertise were available from the Kimberley diamond mines, as well as the gold fields of Australia and North America. This made initial operations highly profitable and enabled further in-depth exploration of the reef to be self-financing. These minerals, mixed with quartz rock and other debris, formed layers of iron-rich conglomerate. It is reported by Professor Roger Gibson of the University of the Witwatersrand as having an impact equalling approximately 400,000 megatons of TNT. Davis discovered the first gold in the Witwatersrand, leading to the South African gold rush and the discovery of much more gold deposits within the basin. In 1852, the English prospector J.H. As the nearest rail-heads were at Kimberley, Ladysmith and Komatipoort, all stores, materials and personnel had to be carried to the mines at great expense by either mule or ox-drawn wagons. Goldfields Revisited, by Edward p. Mathers, F.R.G.S. Here is some history of the Witwatersrand Gold Style Ore Deposits as they related to South Africa since the arrival of the Dutch and the southernmost tip of the continent in 1652. If my conclusions are correct, what Fred Struben and others found, was the tops of the vents or springs, displaced North by the meteor impact, and sheared off from the parent pipes. (See Migrant Labour, Chinese Labour), Colonial History and Development of Johannesburg, Fordsburg and the Oriental Plaza, Johannesburg. When the Struben brothers, Fred and Harry, began prospecting the Witwatersrand ridge around 1883-4, they found gold in small quantities in the streams and quartzes. Of these about 600 White residents farmed the Witwatersrand region, which was considered to be a fairly well populated area by the standards of that time. This impact may have given the Earth its off-set, and caused a dust-storm that may have lasted up to three years. South Africa experienced a transformation between 1870, when the diamond rush to Kimberley began, and 1902, when the South African War ended. The original miners' camp, under the informal leadership of Col Ignatius Ferreira, had been located in the Fordsburg dip, possibly because water was available there, and because of the site's close proximity to the diggings. Therefor there should be big pipes in the Johannesburg and Langlaagte areas, as well as others ranging along the line of the Main Reef, but North of it. It all really began when an Australian miner by the name of George Harrison went out walking on a Sunday in March 1886 and discovered an outcrop of a main gold bearing reef on the farm Langlaagte. Even after it was realised that the gold reef ran both deep and wide, and the introduction in May 1890 of the MacArthur-Forrest cyanide process made recovery of gold excavated at deep levels economically feasible, the general consensus of the time was that Johannesburg's life span would not exceed 25 years. These included seasonal variations, which were not unduly severe, as well as the almost total lack of noxious fauna and flora, most specifically insects and bacteria dangerous to man. The outcrop in Gauteng forms the Witwatersrand ridge, from which the basin and its rocks derive their name. All found gold on the surface, but it petered out at about 30 meters, and almost all dipped towards the South. Another find by Pieter Jacob Marais was recorded in 1853 on the Jukskei River, but was subject to similar secrecy. The first of these to be erected was a three-stamp Sandycroft on the Jubilee Mine, which came into operation on 22 April of that year, and by the end of 1887 it had been followed into production by the Wemmer, Ferreira, Salisbury, Wits (Knights), Meyer & Charlton, George Goch, Jumpers, City and Suburban, Geldenhuis Estates, Langlaagte, Robinson and Wolhouter mines. 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 Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a gold rush in 1886 that led to the establishment of Johannesburg, South Africa.It was a key part of the Mineral Revolution.. When the meteor struck, the temperature was raised to thousands of degrees C. This probably caused a double reaction, the dilute sulphuric acid reacting with the iron mud to form Ferrous Oxide and hydrogen. Explorer and prospector Jan Gerrit Bantjes [ af ] (1840-1914) was the first and original discoverer of a Witwatersrand gold reef in June 1884 having prospected the area since the early 1880s, as well as co-operating the Kromdraai Gold Mine in 1883 to the NW of present-day Johannesburg together with his partner Johannes Stephanus Minnaar in an area known today as "The Cradle of Humankind". Shafts go down some 3,900 meters be… Bird added, “We cover the early pioneers who mined on the Witwatersrand before the main reef was discovered and will then follow the stories of the three Georges, each claiming to have discovered … The discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886 led to a series of events which changed the character of the young Boer republic and changed forever the economic and political relations between Britain and the Boer republics and eventually led to the war of 1899. Portion of the Main Reef at George Harrison Park (Gavin Whitfield). The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (/ v ə t ˈ v ɑː t ə s r ə n t /), is a multi-campus South African public research university situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg.It is more commonly known as Wits University or Wits (/ v ə t s / or / v ɪ t s /).The university has its roots in the mining industry, as do Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand in general. An availability of unskilled labour, which he described as being "virile and excellent workers under white supervision". These gold fields dominated production throughout the twentieth century, but production peaked at … Can anyone tell me where this building in East London is? Another theory became popular, that the gold had come up in volcanic activity, the volcanoes being eroded away over time, and releasing gold rich rock into an inland sea. Comments will load below. CANADA (The … As a result, the initial survey and layout of the settlement was made with impermanence in mind. However Randjeslaagte, the site of present-day central Johannesburg, was not declared until 4 October 1886, and its village was only officially named ‘Johannesburg’ for the first time the previous day, 3 October 1886. Later on, mining engineer Biccard Jeppe listed a number of advantages which, in his opinion, had facilitated gold mining in the area. Does anyone have information about this fascinating auction lot bought in the UK? By August 1886, the mining camp, as yet unnamed, could already boast of some 3000 inhabitants, most of them White, and on 8 September of that year nine farms, located in what is now regarded as the central Rand, were proclaimed public diggings. If for any reason none appear click here for some troubleshooting tips. These quartz rich sands hardened under successive layers into the quartzite we know today. Thermal subsidence and associated deposition of the 2.64 to 2.43 Ga Chuniespoort Group led to low-grade burial metamorphism of the Witwatersrand strata, to basin dewatering, oil migration, and partial gold mobilization within the Witwatersrand basin fill. Its rich gold deposits, occurring in conglomerate beds known as reefs, were discovered in 1886. These muds in turn were dense enough to lift with them various minerals, copper, silver, uranium and others, leaking out of the Earth’s center. The Witwatersrand Gold Rush initiated South Africa’s domination of world gold production. When the Struben brothers, Fred and Harry, began prospecting the Witwatersrand ridge around 1883-4, they found gold in small quantities in the streams and quartzes. Iron pyrite and water. These geysers seemed seasonal. The Witwatersrand Basin is approximatly 350 km long and 200 km wide. The Fred Struben diaries, at Wits University and the Oppenheimer Library. By 1890, a scant four years after the discovery of gold, it had multiplied ten-fold on both the Rand and in Johannesburg. The gold and mineral rich layers were displaced downwards like the saucer of a cup, the ‘hinge, being along the Witwatersrand ridge and sloping downwards at angles around 30 degrees at surface and curving out as deep as six km underground. Then in 1853 Pieter Jacob Marais discovered gold on the Jukskei River banks but this was also kept secret. The world's greatest deposit of gold is hosted by the Archaean Witwatersrand sedimentary basin, situated in the central portion of the Kaapvaal Craton of South Africa. This will also explain why some of the gold mines in the Randfontein area had stopes that were vertical. It would seem that this continued into the time of the dinosaurs, or other hard boned animals, as fossils of such bones have been discovered along the present Florida Ridge. The considerable contribution of St John’s College to Medicine. With my limited knowledge of chemistry, I presume that: The boiling water coming into contact with the sulphur formed a dilute sulphuric acid and hydrogen gas. Reimold and R.L. Initially these men came from Mozambique, but later on they were also drawn from British colonies further afield. That the meteor came in at an angle, from the South, is demonstrated by the Witwatersrand ridge being most disturbed and deformed, to the North of impact. Today there are considerable amounts of iron-rich muds or shale laying along the Wits. Following upon the declaration of Johannesburg, this area was taken over by the Government who had it surveyed and named it Ferreira’s Town. The ore was rich and located close to the surface. Contribute. Some were bigger than others. The semi-circular shape of the Wits ridge forming an outer rim of the crater. The Rand’s healthy and equitable climatic conditions. This began the Australian Gold Rush, which had a profound impact on the country’s national identity . They therefore believed the gold could not continue for more than about 30 to 50 meters underground. Ridge, stretching from Krugersdorp through Kloofendal and the Melville Koppies. However no such rivers or traces of them exist. Davis, an English miner. It was the accidental discovery of what is now known as ‘the Great Rand Reef’, by a man called George Harrison, which directly led to the ‘ Witwatersrand Gold … The City is built on top of the Johannesburg pipe (The Heritage Portal). Looking at the impact site from space it is clear that the Witwatersrand was formed as part of this impact. Today if one studies the formation of the ground between the Main Reef and the Witwatersrand Ridge, one realises that the ground slopes gradually up, then drops dramatically, over the Ridge, in fact there are two ridges in most places, this becoming more extreme towards Krugersdorp and Randfontein. Production does not come easy though. By the end of the following year, in 1888, the number of companies had dropped down to 39, only to rise up again to 52 by the end of 1889. Following the South African War, population patterns resumed their previous trends of rapid growth, assisted in part by the influx, in 1904, of some 64,000 Chinese indentured labourers. Some carried uranium in great quantities. Let us know what is happening in your town or city. Along the shoreline, mostly along what would become the Witwatersrand, but stretching away towards Potchefstroom, seemed to be a series of hot springs or geysers. Today this can be seen at the Roodepoort Botanical Gardens where a cliff face exposes these layers. This also means that animal-drawn transport was also subject to seasonal shortages of fodder along its routes of travel, sometimes leading to long delays in the delivery of much needed mining equipment. History of Leases The Witwatersrand Basin Project (WBP) comprises two historic mining centres on the Northern Edge of the Witwatersrand Basin in the Central Rand Goldfield immediately southwest of the city of Johannesburg. Over the years, many other men tried mining into the Witwatersrand ridge, notably George Brown and the French Count De Waru. That this was wrong was soon revealed by pioneers like J.B. Robinson who proving that the reef dipped far underground. The rock was found to contain both gold and diamonds—a rare combination similar to that found in the world’s richest gold deposit in South Africa. A … The existence of the mines was threatened by one immediate and severe drawback: the field was relatively isolated from other urban centres and did not lie on any of the established trade routes. Though there were smaller mining operations in the region, it wasn’t until 1884 and the subsequent 1886 discovery at Langlaagte that the Witwatersrand gold rush got under way in ea… The Strubens and Gold, by Anna Cunningham, Wits University. This geologic formation is believed to be the result of an ancient meteorite and has produced over 1.5 billion troy ounces of gold since it was discovered in 1886. If you would like to post a comment and need instructions click here. It is therefore probable, that these pipes still exist, North of the Main Reef, and that there existence was never suspected by early miners, concerned only in mining on the Main Reef series, which dipped South away from the probable pipes. 1886, gold was found along the Witwatersrand, and this by 1914 was to make the South African gold industry the world’s top producer . Kimberley mine in 1873, only a few years after the digging for diamonds started Discovery of Gold and Diamonds in South Africa When gold was discovered in the eastern Transvaal (Pilgrim’s Rest, Mac-Mac Waterfalls and Barberton) a similar process took place. At impact the meteor certainly penetrated deep enough to open and allow magma far underground to escape in places. Then at a point in time, a huge meteor fell in the present district of Vredefort. Soon revealed by pioneers like J.B. 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