Merensky Reef Centenary (2024)


2024 is going to be a very special year for the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. Approximately 20 years after PGE was discovered in chromitite layers of the Bushveld Complex, Hans Merensky discovered what would become the first economic platinum deposit in South Africa, on 15th August 1924, at Mooihoek in the Eastern Limb. This reef, which can be traced for over 100km in outcrop was named after him and has proved to be one of the most spectacular and economically important features of the Bushveld Complex.

One hundred years later, the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) believes that this is a milestone worth celebrating. To honour Hans Merensky, platinum and all things Bushveld Complex related, the GSSA is organising a two-day scientific/technical conference (including a poster session as well as a trade show), combined with various pre- and post- Conference field trips to the Eastern, Western and Northern limbs and different social events during the period 15-23 August 2024.

In addition, it is planned to produce a Special Volume of the SAJG, dedicated to related Bushveld and/or Merensky Reef papers. The basis for this volume would be papers presented at the conference and associated fieldtrips but may also include specific invited papers and other contributed articles.

We hope that many local, regional and international academic and industry geoscientists would be interested in attending and contributing to these events. Please save the dates – more information will be available on this page in due course.

Preliminary Programme/Field Trip(s) Information

Pre-conference field trip (15-18 August 2024 Eastern Bushveld, led by Dr Roger Scoon)

Hans Merensky and his Lydenburg Platinum Syndicate discovered the first economic platinum deposit in South Africa, at the Mooihoek dunite pipe on 15th August 1924, in the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex. This initiated the “platinum rush” (1924-9) and Merensky went on to discover two more mineralized pipes, Driekop and Twyfelaar, as well as the Merensky Reef at Maandagshoek in late September 1924. The Onverwacht dunite pipe, the site of possibly the world’s oldest underground platinum mine was discovered on 10th October 1924 by geologist F. W. Blaine. The excursion will include visits to the three well-known dunite pipes as well as outcrops and historical declines on the Merensky Reef at Winnaarshoek (Marula Platinum mine). Visits to Botshabelo (Hans Merensky’s place of birth) and the Dsjate Cultural Centre are also planned.”

Click here for the itinerary

Pre-conference Workshop (19 August 2024)

Ni-Cu-PGE, and chromite deposits in mafic-ultramafic intrusions: processes, genetic models and exploration tools. Dr Stephen Barnes, Mineral Resources, CSIRO Perth, Australia and Prof. Rais Latypov, School of Geosciences, Wits University

Scientific conference (20-21 August 2024)

The programme is planned for six sessions:

  1. Geology, structure and petrogenesis of the Bushveld Complex
  2. Petrology, geochemistry, mineralogy and genesis of the Merensky Reef and massive chromitites of the Bushveld Complex
  3. Facies variations in the Merensky Reef and massive chromitites of the Bushveld Complex
  4. Geophysical and geochemical methods for the Merensky Reef and massive chromitites exploration/exploitation in the Bushveld Complex
  5. Geometallurgical characterisation of Merensky Reef and massive chromitites of the Bushveld Complex
  6. Open session

Post Conference Field Trips (22-24 August 2024)

  • TBA

Sponsorship

Conference Venue

ANEW Resort Hunters Rest (Rustenburg)

Call for Papers

  • Abstract submission deadline: 1 April 2024 to Dr Sofya Chistyakova (Sofia.Chistyakova@wits.ac.za).
  • All abstracts should be submitted in the attached format (.doc)

Prospective authors may choose to submit full (peer-reviewed) papers/presentations or standalone presentations only. NOTE: Abstracts are required for all potential presentations.

Scientific committee:

  • Prof. Rais Latypov (School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand) Prof.
  • Stephen Prevec (Department Geology, Rhodes University)
  • Prof. Freddie Roelofse (Department of Geology, University of the Free State)
  • Dr. Sofya Chistyakova (School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand)

Special Issue of the South African Journal of Geology (SAJG)

The Special Volume on “Origin of the Merensky Reef of the Bushveld Complex”, with guest editors Rais Latypov, Stephen Prevec, Freddie Roelofse and Willem Kruger will be opened in the South African Journal of Geology (SAJG) for submission on the 1st of October 2024. The basis for this volume would be papers presented at the international conference on the Merensky Reef of the Bushveld Complex ‘100 years of the Merensky Reef Minerals, Metals and Mining’ to be held in 19-20 August 2024 in South Africa but may also include invited papers and other contributed papers. We encourage potential contributors to start preparing manuscripts much in advance so that the papers can be submitted, reviewed, and published expeditiously in this volume. We especially encourage Bushveld mining-based geologists to submit their research papers (but not technical reports) to address some specific scientific problems based on field and textural observations from open-pit and underground exposures of the Merensky Reef and massive chromitites (usually, no more than 15 figures). Please,
get in touch with Rais Latypov (rais.latypov@wits.ac.za) for any additional information.

Contacts

  • Mrs Chane de Jager (Chair of the Organising Committee)
  • Ms Loni Gallant (Chair of the Sponsorship Committee)   
  • Prof. Rais Latypov (Guest Editor for the SAJG Special Volume)
  • Mr Joshua Kilani (GSSA VP Meetings Portfolio)

Please contact any of the above at info@gssa.org.za should you require further information.