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Waterberg

Limpopo (Northern) Province, South Africa

Main commodities: PGE PGM
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The quartz-vein hosted Waterberg platinum deposit, which was mined from 1923 to 1926, is located some 15 km west of the town of Mookgophong (formerly Naboomspruit) in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

The deposit occurs as variably striking, steep to sub-vertical quartz veins. It cuts both Triassic Karoo aged sandstones and section of the extensive 2.06 Ga Rooiberg Group, composed of a gently to moderately NNW-dipping irregular sequence of bimodal (rhyolite-basalt) volcanics, with interbedded sedimentary rocks, and is found on the northern limb of the Swaershoek Anticline, one of a set of large, gently plunging folds that deformed all pre-Karoo age lithologies in the region.

In the deposit area, late Bushveld Complex Nebo Granite intrudes Upper Rooiberg Group felsite, agglomerates, shale and tuff which is conformably overlain by clastic sedimentary rocks of the Waterberg Group. Post-Waterberg dolerite sills and dykes intrude all pre-Karoo lithologies. All of these rocks are unconformably overlain by flat lying Karoo Triassic sandstones.

The main platiniferous quartz vein (known as the 'Main Lode') occupies a fault which juxtaposes volcanic rocks of Rooiberg age against the Karoo Triassic sandstones. This fault zone is part of a suite of NE-SW to ENE-WSW striking, anastomosing faults that traverse the area with a tectonically repeated pattern that implies downthrow to the southeast, and is parallel to the major regional Welgevonden Fault which is about 2 km to the northwest. The Welgevonden Fault zone is suggested to extend to the northeast and merge with the Planknek­Ysterberg Fault system which cuts the 2.06 Ga Bushveld Complex to the south of Mokopane (Potgietersrus) and is part of the regional Thabazimbi-Murchison Lineament that formed in the Mesoarchaean and has subsequently been periodically reactivated.

The Waterberg Main Lode can be followed for at least 3 km along strike, although Pt mineralisation is concentrated in a shorter 500 m section of the vein. The well-exposed vein fabrics of the lode exhibit features typical of low pressure epithermal quartz veins, with no textural evidence that the quartz veining was syntectonic. They are interpretted to have formed near the present-day surface beneath a highly eroded Karoo cover, suggesting a recent age for veining and Pt mineralisation.

The remaining resource has been estimated at 75 t (2.4 MOz) of PGE (Centurian Gold Holdings, 2005).

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2007.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.


  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Armitage P, McDonald I and Tredoux M,  2007 - A geological investigation of the Waterberg hydrothermal platinum deposit, Mookgophong, Limpopo Province, South Africa : in    Trans. IMM (incorp. AusIMM Proc.), Section B, Appl. Earth Sc.   v116 pp 113-129


Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo takes no responsibility what-so-ever for inaccurate or out of date data, information or interpretations.

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