MARCH 2020

In line with one of the goals of the Legacy Fund we are pleased to report that 10 post-graduate students were provided with funding support to attend and present the findings of their research at the 36th IGC in Delhi, India.

Unfortunately, the 36th IGC had to be postponed until November 2020 due to the travel restrictions implemented by the Indian Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The opening of the Parys museum exhibit highlighting the Vredefort meteorite impact was held on 10 October 2019.

The museum display features photographs, diagrams, maps and the highly regarded Maggie Newman’s art work. A field trip was undertaken to sites in the area. Supporters of this event appreciated the generous financial support provided by the 35 IGC Legacy Fund for this geoscience education initiative. The display also benefitted considerably from the support by VM Investments and Bushveld Minerals and we thank them for this and their continued interest. Present at the opening function were Nicky and Strilli Oppenheimer who also made a generous contribution to the project. The commitment of the geological community and the Egoli branch of the GSSA, represented by Andries Botha, in furthering geoheritage and geotourism initiatives is appreciated.


26-29 SEPTEMBER 2019

This account of a fieldtrip was provided by Andries Botha, GSSA Egoli Branch Chairperson.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery and first account of komatiite, a geoheritage field trip was held between the 26-29 September 2019. This event was organized by the Egoli Branch of the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA), in association with the Barberton Branch of the GSSA and other interested geotourism partners from Barberton. The trip took place at the Makhonja/ Baberton Mountains which was recently proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unparalleled geological exposure and state of preservation.

The field trip was led by experts on the geology of Barberton. These included Professors Richard and Morris Viljoen of Bushveld Minerals, who are responsible for the discovery of komatiite, Prof Carl Anhauesser of University of Witwatersrand, Prof Laurence Robb of University of Oxford, Dr Trevor Pearton of Caledonia Mining, and Mr Chris Rippon of Sheba Mine. The tour group included more than 45 guests from academia, industry, government, and the public.

In addition to the various field sites visited and in-field discussions, a series of lectures were held on the evenings of the 26th and 27th of September 2019. The lectures varied from general interest to more advanced discussion on the komatiites and associated geology. These lectures were advertised in advance and were open for public attendance. Several student groups attended these lectures. On the last evening (28 September) an open discussion was held between various stakeholders with regards to the UNESCO site, Geo-heritage and Geo-tourism. This event was well attended, with representatives from local industry (mining houses), businesses, local tour guides & operators as well as the local government involved in the promotion and governance of the Geo-heritage sites.

The three main sponsors of the trip were the 35IGC Legacy Fund, GSSA and VMIC. The sponsored funds were used to subsidize the travelling expenses related to the trip, such as the transportation and accommodation of the field trip leaders. The trip was planned in such a way that would allow for the route, stops and trip material to be used by public and interested parties in the future. The anniversary trip was largely paid for by the patrons that attended the trip.

In order to ensure that the anniversary trip left a viable legacy for the geo-heritage site and local community, a field guide to the selected route was created. This field guide can be used by visitors, enthusiast and local tour guides to plan and aid in the understanding and value gained from the area. Additionally, to create even further value, the intent is now to capture the evening lectures and discussion into an accessible pod-cast format to ensure the information about the area and its geology has a greater reach.