MING5503 Ore Deposit Field Excursion

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
This field excursion provides students with a UWA-guided tour of some of the richest mines and best geological exposures in South Africa. This exclusive biennial course looks at a wide range of mineral systems, including gold, PGE, iron and base metals. The field trip to this geological wonderland covers the Gauteng, Northwest, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces of northeast South Africa. Much of this area consists of the Highveld (veld-plateau), about 1.5 km above sea level. One of the highest parts is the Witwatersrand (Afrikaans for 'white water ridge'), forming a watershed, 2 km above sea level, between the Vaal River to the south that flows into the Atlantic Ocean and the Limpopo River to the north that flows into the Indian Ocean. Spectacular undulating topography typifies the area around Johannesburg, with quartzite ridges of the gold-bearing Witwatersrand Supergroup forming the positive relief. Three-hundred kilometres towards the east lies the breathtaking escarpment, where there is up to 1 km of vertical relief resulting from erosion of the Highveld during the last three million years. To the southeast, the magnificent Barberton Mountainland contains some of the world's most spectacular komatiite outcrops. In the west, the Pilanesberg Alkaline Complex offers some of the greatest exposures of alkaline rocks and associated mineralisation in the world. The entire region is underlain by the Archean Kaapvaal craton, into which the spectacular Bushveld Complex, with its incredible PGE, V and Cr resources, was emplaced around two billion years ago. This field excursion visits numerous world-class ore deposits and magnificent geological exposures. Throughout the trip, it is possible to address questions related to the large scale lithospheric controls on the unique metal enrichment of this craton. Furthermore, it is possible to examine the commonalities among different magmatic and hydrothermal ore-forming mechanisms that generated some of the richest and most diversified ore bodies in the world.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate knowledge of a range of mineral deposit styles in their geological context and (2) demonstrate application of the mineral system approach to understanding the origins of mineral deposits.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a series of ongoing assignments during the field trip and (2) final report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Marco Fiorentini
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Geoscience (72550)
the Master of Science (70630)
the Master of Ore Deposit Geology (70590)
EART8519 South African Ore Deposit Field Excursion
Approved quota: 12—allocated on a first come, first served basis
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Optional Field Trip (estimated cost - Up to $2,500).
Contact hours
2-week block. The total workload for the unit is 150 hours.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.