Following an investigation of the KwaMachi community’s claims of having found gold in a quarry near the area in Harding on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, the Council for Geoscience (CGS) has determined that there is no economic gold in either the quarry or its surroundings.
All concentrations are significantly low and within normal values in the rocks, CGS said on Thursday.
The council explained that mineral sulphides such as pyrite, chalcopyrite, pentlandite, cobalite, sphalerite and galena occur in the quarry and that pyrite and chalcopyrite have similar appearances to gold and can easily be mistaken for this precious metal.
The community of KwaMachi last year claimed to have found gold in the area. Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe tasked the CGS to investigate the veracity of the claims.
In June 2018, the CGS conducted investigations at the quarry where the local community claimed to have found a gold deposit.
In the first investigation, rock samples were collected from the quarry and analysed at the Mintek laboratory, in Johannesburg. The 150 m by 150 m quarry was used primarily as a source of aggregates for improving the condition of the local roads.
Although the first set of results showed that the quarry did not contain gold, the CGS decided to conduct further investigations.
Pending geological evidence of the purported gold, the quarry was closed to allow the CGS to conduct a second investigation, which was conducted in October 2018.
The sample area was widened to include the quarry and its surroundings, which allowed for a comprehensive conclusion on the accuracy of the claims of the community on the presence of gold.
The geology of the Harding area, which is mostly of the Karoo Supergroup, is not a suitable geological setting for gold, the CGS said.