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State-funded Council for Geoscience wants to undertake a geological mapping of the whole of SA but needs R20bn over 10 years to complete the project.

Less than 5% of the country is covered by geotechnical maps of a 1:50,000 scale, which provides the most clarity of geological resources.

The country has been fully covered in terms of 1:1,000,000 and 1:250,000 scale maps, and the aim is to cover it entirely with 1:50,000 scale maps.

CEO Mosa Mabuza noted that Namibia, Canada and Australia had fully mapped their countries with 1:50,000 scale maps and combined had attracted about 40% of the global mining exploration budget.

"Exploration activity is attracted by the availability of geological information. It is important to invest in the geosciences today to secure the future that we seek," Mabuza said. Mineral explorers required maps on a scale of 1:50,000.

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An earthquake occurred on the 28th January, 2018, at 18:03 South African Standard Time, on the Indian Rift at 53.10°S and 9.49°E approximately 2200 km southwest of Cape Town, with a moment magnitude of Mw~6.5. This event was located and analysed by partner networks in the Indian Ocean Tsunami warning System, e.g., Geofon Potsdam, Germany.

The mechanism of the earthquake is interpreted as strike slip hence, also considering the moderate magnitude and distance to the South African coast, the probability of a tsunami at South Africa is deemed insignificant. There have since been two more earthquakes (possibly aftershocks) that have been reported to have occurred in the same area in the past 11-12 hours. The two earthquakes could be linked to this one and also caused by the same mechanism. The locations of these earthquakes (as indicated above) are still to be reviewed by a seismologist.

For media enquiries please contact Mr Ian Saunders on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Tel: 012 841 1456

The South African National Seismograph Network automatic locator detected a seismic disturbance in the West Rand gold mining area on Tuesday, 23 January, 2018 at 17:47 South African Standard Time. The event had a primary magnitude of M=2.8. This is an automatic location and magnitude which may change once  reviewed by a seismologist.

Moderate seismicity had occurred before in the West Rand and Far West Rand gold mining areas with four events of magnitude M=3.9 from 2000 till date; the list of these previous events is given below:

  Date    Time      Lat.    Lon.  Region and comments    Depth Mag

 y. m. d. h. m. s.      (Deg.)                             (km) ML


 5  5 23  6  9 11.3 -26.36 27.51 Far West Rand gold mines  2.0 3.9

 5  7 13 14 51 57.6 -26.39 27.35 Far West Rand gold mines  2.0 3.9

 5  7 16  6 57 32.2 -26.44 27.38 Far West Rand gold mines  2.0 3.9

10  6 14 11 51 56.4 -26.47 27.50 Far West Rand gold mines  2.0 3.9


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