On the 150th anniversary of the discovery of diamonds near Kimberley, this excursion covers the alluvial deposits of Lichtenburg and Bloemhof to the Big Hole in Kimberley. The diamond trail begins on the Limpopo/Vaal River watershed west of Johannesburg where unique secondary diamond deposits have been preserved on the karstified terrain of the Transvaal Dolomites. These can be traced southwards to the Vaal River where diamond bearing palaeo-channels and terraces are still mined today. Mining of these diamonds, from unknown source(s), has been particularly intense around Windsorton, just north of Kimberley.
Input of large quantities of diamonds derived from the local Cretaceous kimberlites are added to the Vaal River mix at Barkley West and these different diamond populations are taken further downstream to the confluence of the Vaal and Orange Rivers. Here these are joined by the Lesotho diamonds brought down by the Orange River. On the way to the West Coast some of these diamonds have been trapped in a series of river terraces that have been mined along the middle Orange River between Douglas and Prieska and have provided some of the largest, high quality alluvial diamonds in recent times.
Field Trip Leader: Mike de Wit
Start: OR TAMBO International Airport Johannesburg
End: Bloemfontein Airport
Departs: 09:00 AM
Dates: 6 days, Monday 22nd to Saturday 27th August 2016
Price: R 23 650 per person sharing with single supplement of R 5 500 per person