The University of Pretoria (UP) will be hosting a short course on ‘Diamond Exploration and their Primary and Secondary Sources’, from October 23 to 26.
The internationally recognised short course will be led by Tsodilo Resources nonexecutive director and geologist Dr Mike de Wit and resource consultant and geologist Dr John Bristow.
The diamond exploration and evaluation course is presented foremost for UP’s Geology Department fourth-year students by a panel of international experts, but is open to the public.
It presents the latest developments and new technological applications in exploration methods, geophysics as applied to diamond exploration, mining methods, the origin of diamonds, minerals chemistry, petrography, settings of kimberlites/lamproites including cratons, secondary diamond deposits, and mining, processing and treatment and recovery methods.
“We have run this course for six years now, and it continues to attract local and international participants, given the quality of the presenters who all provide their services pro bono. “The underground visit to the fully reconstructed and modernised world-class Cullinan diamond mine, owned by Petra Diamonds, is a highlight of the course, and we are indebted to Petra for their contribution,” states Bristow.
The first topic to be covered is ‘Diamond Exploration’, which looks at the history of diamonds, world diamond markets, kimberlites/lamproites and cratons, structural geology and diamond exploration, modern exploration techniques, geophysics and diamonds, and mantle structure and diamond genesis.
The second topic looks at ‘Primary and Secondary Sources of Diamonds’, including the classification of primary sources, characteristics and settings of secondary diamond deposits, and marine diamond deposits.
Finally, the ‘Evaluation and Economic Valuation of Diamond Deposits’ looks at due diligence and geological requirements, diamond valuation, size frequency studies, mining methods, evaluation of alluvial deposits, and financial valuation models. The mine visit to the Cullinan mine takes place on October 26.
The course fee is R7 000 per person, which includes refreshments, comprehensive course notes on a DVD, and the underground visit to a world-class underground diamond mine.
All funds raised are allocated to assist Honours students and support a postgraduate fund for junior lecturers in the Geology Department at the university.
Places are reserved for the 2018 Geology Honours students, so early registration is recommended. Details of accommodation within walking distance of the campus can be provided on request for out-of-town participants. Interested parties can contact UP’s museum curator, Vusani Mathada. Her details are available on the UP website.
Meanwhile, the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA), with assistance from MINSA and the University of Johannesburg (UJ), has organised that John Gurney’s exhibition, ‘Messengers from the Mantle’, will be staged in conjunction with the 2018 Geocongress, and will be open to the public as well as conference delegates, in the lead-up to the short course, notes GSSA executive manager Dr Craig Smith.
Smith explains that the exhibition will be open from July 13 to 20 at the UJ library. This will be the first time the exhibition will be staged in Gauteng, and the GSSA is trying to arrange for several school groups to attend.
“For those who have not seen the exhibition, this is a Smithsonian-quality exhibition of upper mantle rocks and minerals sampled by kimberlite, selected from the lifetime collection of John Gurney and students. It really is a must-see,” states Smith.