Regional fluid flow model developed for a section of the Barberton Greenstone Belt

14th March 2022

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


Font size: - +

A comprehensive and holistic model has been developed for the regional fluid flow patterns within the Sheba-Fairview complex, in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, in Mpumalanga, which also shows how these fluids are tapped and channelled into the localised ore bodies, geological consulting firm Tect Geological Consulting geoscientist Caitlin Jones said in a webinar on March 11.

She said the mineralisation within the Sheba-Fairview complex could be explained by the temporal and spatial coincidence of the well-bedded metasedimentary sequence, which underwent, firstly, folding and subsequent refolding during late-stage northwest-southeast shortening.

She said these refolding processes were associated with flexural slip along the bedding plains and they have been accommodated by bedding-parallel, regionally pervasive fluid infiltration, which was subsequently focused into either soft-cutting brittle fracture networks or jog geometries during the fold tightening.

“While we try to constrain the relative late time of the gold mineralisation to during the refolding, there are still uncertainties regarding, firstly, the exact timing of the gold mineralisation and, secondly, also the tectonic regimes in which it forms,” Jones said.

She said there were also some remaining uncertainties regarding the fluid sources responsible for the mineralisation.

The webinar, presented by Jones, was titled ‘Structural setting and alteration of the Barberton gold deposits’ and forms part of a series of webinars being hosted by geologist group Overberg Geoscientists Group (OGG) in conjunction with nonprofit organisation the Geological Society of South Africa on the alteration and interplay with fluids, structure and Archean gold mineralisation.

“The last half-century has seen a massive shift in geological thinking with respect to alteration and its relationships to fluids, structure and metamorphism. No longer is crustal fluid flow envisaged as being up and down open cracks, nor is structural geology simply the measuring of fault displacement,” the OGG said.

Rather, the OGG believes alteration was an integral part of much ore formation and that metamorphism goes well beyond the estimation of pressure or temperature.

“Mineralogy and whole rock geochemistry become intertwined and influence how rocks deform. Linking all these fields are heat energy, fluids and deformation. Successful exploration and mining are the goals of the improved scientific understanding,” the OGG concluded.

The next webinar in the series will be on March 17 at 10:30, where Stellenbosch University's Professor Alex Kisters will present 'Barberton gold deposits as examples of the interplay of structure and alteration'.

All the free-to-attend webinars can be accessed at this link:

For additional information on the webinar series, contact John Bristow at or Hennie Greeff at

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


Latest News

Andrada CEO Anthony Viljoen.
Namibia best place to mine, says lithium, tin, tantalum miner
Updated 4 hours ago By: Martin Creamer


Sandvik image
Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions

Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions is a leading supplier of equipment, tools, parts, service and solutions for processing rock and minerals in the...

Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions
Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions

Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions is a leading supplier of equipment, tools, parts, service and solutions for processing rock and minerals in the...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Photo of Martin Creamer
On-The-Air (02/06/2023)
2nd June 2023 By: Martin Creamer

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.152 0.186s - 109pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now