Witwatersrand Gold, 1-6

One hundred years ago, George Harrison found gold in conglomerates on the farm Langlaagte. This find turned out to be fabulously rich, payable ore was present over a strike length of 80 kilometres, the reefs persisted in depth and so the Witwatersrand Goldfield prospered and grew and mining has continued to this day. To commemorate the centenary of this discovery, the Geological Society of South Africa decided in 1984 to prepare a volume which recorded the story of the discovery and development of the field in a manner which would be of interest to many people, even though it is written by geologists with the emphasis on the geological aspects of the story. The objective of this book then is to provide an interesting and technically simple account of the events leading up to the discovery and development of each of the seven Witwatersrand gold fields (Fig. 1). Thus the emphasis in each of the seven chapters is on the people and companies involved, the events, the hopes and disappointments as well as on the slow growth of geological understanding of the structure, the genesis of the gold bearing reefs and the distribution of the gold and uranium within the reefs. The input and results achieved by the geologists involved in the discovery and exploitation of each field are also summarised. The treatment of the story by each contributor is quite different, the individual authors or groups of authors presenting their findings and impressions in quite different ways and with different emphasis on the facts, historical perspectives, the personalities involved and the geological aspects. None of the presentations can be considered as a comprehensive review of the history of each field. To do that would require at least one volume if not several volumes for each field. Nor is there much reference to the evolution of mining, metallurgical, ventilation and other techniques, about which volumes could also be written.
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Witwatersrand Gold, 111-171

In considering the history of gold mining on the Witwatersrand and extensions, in some areas covering a full hundred years from 1887 to 1986, one can write a veritable tome on so many different aspects of it, on a great diversity of developments, ranging from the hoisting and lowering of men and materials up and down shafts, evolution in shaft sinking techniques, lighting provided by candles to electric head lamps with main haulage-ways lit up by electricity like streets, drilling techniques for blasting and the advent of the jack hammer, evolution in the types of explosives used - and so on. The greatest of them all, however, concerns the actual opening up of a mine by underground tunnelling and subsequent sloping of the ore, by the detailed planning based on innumerable discussions, guided by accurate survey of the underground workings, by a knowledge of structural features such as faults and dykes affecting the gold-bearing conglomerates and of the varying, at times seemingly haphazard, pattern of gold distribution within a reef. In this contribution, the story of the 31 mines of the East Rand Basin is presented, with specific reference to the geology and the part played by geologists in the process. However, this is not a comprehensive account of all aspects, hence the reader will find that different facets of the story are accentuated for different mines. In some cases, as for Government Gold Mining Areas and Daggafontein, detailed accounts are given covering their whole productive life-span whereas for others abbreviated and incomplete accounts are presented. The reader will acquire a broad view of the mining achievements in the East Rand Basin, spanning a full hundred years. Gold is the main commodity being produced, though the Witwatersrand ores are also important producers of silver, which occurs alloyed with the gold, averaging about 10%. Uranium oxide has been produced by two mines in the East Rand Basin, with osmiridium in small quantities being recovered.
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Witwatersrand Gold, 173-197

The story of the discovery of gold in the Klerksdorp area is a saga as thrilling as any other, and as interesting and tantalising as any modern adventure story. One finds all the situations and characters one would expect in a tale that has endured for a hundred years and which is still far from finished. It tells, as in other goldfields, in other places, of noble and honourable men rubbing shoulders with thieves and cheats, of men of vision, some displaying a prescience at which we can only marvel, mingling with fools and blunderers. It is a tale in which everything happened; wars and pestilence, drought and floods, fortunes made and lost, high adventure and gory crimes. But it is mainly a tale of triumphs. The triumphs of often common men, their names forgotten, persevering and overcoming adversity and circumstance, the triumphs of men acting in concert, the triumphs of the men who led them, and, of course, the triumphs rooted in luck. But above all it was the triumph of science. It was the slow building up of knowledge, the inexorable solving of the giant geological puzzle by men of science, using the same fundamental scientific methods, which are as necessary today as they were then, that finally led to the discovery of the bonanza, the Vaal Reef. And what a bonanza! The four major mines of the Klerksdorp Field mine almost exclusively the fabulous Vaal Reef. Their production, from inception to the end of 1984, roughly 35 years, plus that of the Ellaton mine and Zandpan mine prior to its merger with Hartebeestfontein, totals 3 679 027,3 kg. From imperfect records, the total production by small operators in the Klerksdorp Field mining other reefs, was only 64325,3 kg, but by including Western Reefs production prior to its merger with Vaal Reefs, and which was essentially from Elsburg and Ventersdorp Contact Reefs, the figure increases to 446 517,9 kg-still only about one ninth of the Field's total production. Vaal Reef production represents approximately 9,3% of total South African production since 1884 and 4,7% of the estimated total world production since 1887 (but excluding communist countries from 1953). The Vaal Reef was discovered more than fifty years after the cry 'Gold!' first reverberated and echoed amongst the koppies between which the Schoonspruit flows, calling to men of various station and all walks of life to seek their fortune. It was also more than 100 years after the first white men, in a group, settled permanently on the banks of the Schoonspruit stream in the area now known as 'Oudorp' (Old Town) and which developed into the bustling modern town of Klerksdorp.
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Witwatersrand Gold, 49-109

The West Rand Goldfield is defined in this report as the area covering Krugersdorp, Randfontein and Westonaria, embracing to-day the mines of West Rand Consolidated, Randfontein Estates and Western Areas. From the early days of little over one hundred years ago, the geological history of the area is traced, beginning with the early outcrop mines and their subsequent downdip extensions. The consolidation of numerous small mines into four major gold mines occurred around the turn of the century and their history is traced to their closure or the present day. In the 1950s with dwindling gold reserves, uranium became an important product and enabled the larger of these mines to be considerably extended. The exploration history of Western Areas, Cooke Section and Doornkop Section of Randfontein is given and finally production figures for the whole of the West Rand are quoted.
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Witwatersrand Gold, 7-47, 4 A3 pl.

No abstract. Contents: The discovery. Earlier prospecting activities. Gold strikes close to the Witwatersrand. Evolution of the gold laws. Events following the discovery. The start of actual mining. Some aspects of 100 years of mining. Gross production figures. Evolution of geological concepts. After one century of gold mining. Acknowlegements. Appendix I: Dörffel's report on the Turf Club Borehole. Appendix II. The Rand Victoria Borehole.
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Witwatersrand Gold, 199-223, A3 map.

The West Wits Line is one of the world's premier gold and uranium regions and has made vast contributions to South Africa's economy. It extends some 50 kilometres westwards from the Middelvlei inlier near Randfontein to the Mooi River and southwards from the Wonderfontein Spruit for about 20 kilometres to Fochville.
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Witwatersrand Gold, 225-280, A3 fig.

No abstract. I. Pioneer years (1867-1932). II. ‘The new era' (1932-1939). A. Abandonment of the Gold Standard. B. Allan Roberts and Wit. Extensions. C. Entry of Western Holdings and African & European. D. Discovery of the Basal Reef. III. The war years (1939-1945). A. The re-entry of Anglo American. B. Revival of Wit Extensions. C. The Blinkpoort Syndicate. IV. Post-war developments. A. The Geduld Strike. B. The Erfdeel Inquiry. C. The initial development phase. D. The planning and development of Welkom Town. E. The story of Freddies. F. Uranium and its contribution to the Welkom Goldfields. V. "Recent years: Current developments: Future prospects. A. Production: The first two decades. B. The Seventies. C. The early Eighties - Advent of the supermine. D. Outlook for the future. VI. Development of geological understanding of the Welkom Goldfields. A. The stratigraphy of the Welkom Goldfield. B. Structural geology. C. The application of sedimentology. VII. A review of operations at Western Holdings: 1947-1981. VIII. Potted histories - Other mines.
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Witwatersrand Gold, 281-298

No abstract. I. Discovery. II. The early days. A. Shaft site grouting. B. Geological control of development. C. Gold value distribution. III. Gold production. IV. Generalised stratigraphy. A. Lithology of Kimberley Reef. V. Structural geology. A. Regional structures. B. Faulting. C. Methane. D. Water. VI. Looking ahead.
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