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The Council for Geoscience Field School celebrated its ten year anniversary with the successful completion of the 2015 field mapping training programme. The growth and transformation of the field school programme over the decade has been significant. Initially, the field school was designed as a two-year programme linked to the Annual Technical Programme targeting mostly recently employed geoscientists. These scientists would spend their time at the Limpopo regional office benefitting educationally from the vast economic mineral deposits of the province (for example gold, platinum and copper) and the highly complex, high-grade tectonometamorphic terrane, the Limpopo Belt. During this time, the field school participants would work on map compilations and the writing of complementary map explanations. This work was undertaken in addition to courses on microscopy, GIS and 4x4 driving, all of which would provide the participants with the vital knowledge and skills needed to ensure a successful start to their careers.

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DSC 0735On Friday 17 February 2017, the Acting CEO of the CGS, Mr Mosa Mabuza hosted Professor Hiroshi Ogasawara from Ritsumeikan University, Japan. The purpose of this meeting was in furtherance of the collaborative agreement between the Ritsumeikan University, the CGS and the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP), especially within the context of the MoU recently signed between the DMR and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) at the 2017 Mining Indaba.

This collaborative agreement covers the involvement of the CGS within a deep drilling project entitled "Drilling into Seismogenic zones of the M2.0-5.5 earthquakes in South African gold mines (DSeis)” which was awarded by the ICDP and funded to an amount of 1 million USD.

This project stems from another similar project which was carried out under collaboration between the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the South African government. During the JICA project, the CGS was able to install 12 seismograph stations within the Carletonville mining region and thus assisted us in expanding our cluster networks to more mining regions in an effort to contribute to the safety in the mines.

In addition, the JICA project improved the amount of monitoring within the mines, and thus, when the big 5.5 magnitude earthquake occurred in August 2014, it was probably the most monitored large events which we have ever had. The CGS was one of the parties who could provide valuable data about this event and further enhanced our understanding. Together with in-mine seismic data and Japanese data, the combined data set offers opportunities for unprecedented detailed research in seismology to elucidate the seismogenic zone.

However, with all this data about the event there still remained a few questions unanswered. Such as, “Why did the event occur below the mining horizons?”, which is where this current ICDP project comes into play. The project involves drilling, borehole logging and core logging directly into the seismogenic zones to investigate the earthquake mechanism and associated activity and to learn more about underground water and geo-microbiology. The CGS plays a central role for core repository.

This is an international venture which involves scientists not only from Japan but also from Germany, USA, Switzerland, Israel, Australia and India.

“The CGS, as a national mandated authority on earth-sciences development, is proud to be part of this partnership with international protagonists in seismology. This ground-breaking partnership advances, not only the science, but the national developmental priorities”, articulates Mabuza.


On Thursday, the 12th of January 2017, the Council for Geoscience (CGS) was honoured by a visit of the Minister of Mineral Resources, Honourable Mr Mosebenzi Zwane (MP), accompanied by the Director-General, Mr David Msiza, and his delegation to the head office in Pretoria. The Acting CEO of the CGS, Mr Mosa Mabuza, welcomed the ministerial delegation and Executive Management in the auditorium and called upon Mr Msiza to introduce the Minister to the CGS employees.


Acting CEO Mr Mosa Mabuza welcoming everyone in the auditorium


Director-General, Mr David Msiza introducing the Mininster

In his address to the employees, the Minister acknowledged the role that the CGS plays in the mandate of the Department of Mineral Resources to achieve its goals in transformation, economic growth and investment attraction. He emphasised the work of the CGS as key in the Research and Development initiatives of the country. One of the mandates of the CGS is mapping and he urged the scientists to keep on working hard in returning to the position of being respected in geo-mapping in South Africa and other countries. The Minister further recognised the long service employees who work tirelessly with pride and distinction to achieve the goals of the CGS.


Minister Mosebenzi Zwane addressing the CGS Staff

During his visit to the CGS, the Honourable Minister and his delegation visited the facilities of the CGS Laboratory. Mr Supi Tlowana, the Laboratory Services Manager, presented an overview of the activities of the Laboratory. The laboratory services are utilised by the scientists to evaluate samples from internal projects and by external customers. The delegation visited the following sections:

Facility: XRF, Chemistry and Mineralogy. During the visit, the Laboratory Services Manager briefly explained to the delegation the technology of instruments such as:

  • The new Wavelength Dispersive XRF spectrometer for elemental analysis in solid samples.
  • Three ICP-MS instruments for ultra-trace liquid sample analysis under clean laboratory conditions.
  • The new ICP-OES for trace liquid sample analysis.
  • The SEM for mineralogy identification.

The X-Ray Diffractometer which is an instrument used for qualitative and semi-quantitative minerals identification.

The Laboratory Services Manager also acknowledged the funding made available towards the laboratory equipment recapitalisation project as it has provided an opportunity to procure instruments and equipment with state of the art technology to improve on quality and replace obsolete instruments.



Furthermore, the Minister visited the CGS seismograph network screens which are situated on the 6th floor of the main building. Ms Michelle Grobbelaar, the microzonation project manager, explained how the screens can display ground movement, registered by the seismograph stations installed both nationally and within neighbouring countries. The monitors can also display the automatically calculated time, location and size of the tremors. She pointed out the mining regions in South Africa where the CGS has installed a denser network of monitoring stations (Klerksdorp, Carletonville and Johannesburg) to be used for further research into mine safety. She concluded by mentioning the various international networks to which the CGS contributes data (AfricaArray, CTBT and IOTWS) and the benefits of these networks to the CGS and the country.


Ms Michelle Grobbelaar, the microzonation project manager explaining the functions of the monitoring screens.

In conclusion, Minister Mosebenzi Zwane eluded to have a better appreciation of its Stated Owned Entities (SOE) with the alignment of social-economic activities and transformation.



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