The study of the origin, distribution and character of Earth mineral and fossil energy resource systems with the aim of ensuring their sustainable utilization not only in South Africa but Africa as a whole.

DSI-NRF CIMERA’s Nine Focus Areas

  1. Deep earth, early earth, mantle and crustal processes and metallogenesis
    Mineral deposit evolution in the Archaean and Proterozoic eons and the impact of the Great Oxidation Event on mineralization systems. The study of kimberlites and diamonds.
  2. Metallogeny and Paleogeographic Implications of Layered Igneous Complexes (LICs) and Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs)
    The main focus is on the Bushveld Complex combined with studies on the Molopo Farms, Uitkomst and Kunene Complexes, and LIPs such as the Umkondo LIP, supplemented with geochronological studies and paleomagnetic reconstructions of ancient supercontinents.
  3. Gold deposits
    Covering all gold deposits in South Africa and Africa; gold ore refining; gold recovery and related environmental studies.
  4. Manganese and Iron Ore Deposits
    The major focus is on the characterization of the giant Kalahari Manganese Deposit and the high-grade Sishen-type iron ore deposits of the Transvaal Supergroup in the Northern Cape Province, with a secondary focus on manganese and iron ore deposits in other parts of Africa. These focus areas are coupled with studies on iron formations to gain a better understanding of the depositional settings of the ore protoliths, geochronology to understand the timing of metallogenesis and geometallurgical studies to ensure proper future utilization of the deposits, including low-grade ore resources.
  5. Critical raw materials
    Although the list of critical metals may vary from year to year and from country to country, it is recognized that some are in short supply. There are many elements of growing interest, such as indium and germanium, which have had little use historically. The major focus is on assessing those critical metals that are available in Africa.
  6. Base metals
    To include deposits of lead, copper, zinc, other metals not considered currently as critical raw materials.
  7. Energy Resources
    Coal will remain the major form of energy in South Africa for the foreseeable future. But, coal and by-products (ash) can find application in many different industries. Other potential energy and carbon-based chemical sources in South Africa include shale gas, oil, and natural gas.
  8. Environmental Geology
    Focus on reclamation of old mine dumps and minimizing the effects of mining on the environment.
  9. Geology for Society
    To include: geoheritage; earth science education; advanced analyses.

Human Resource Training and Development

Supply of highly trained mineral and energy resource analysts to ensure sustained development of the scientific and economic sectors of mineral and energy resource industries in South Africa and Africa as a whole.

Information Brokerage

Making available important information that relates to mineral and energy resources to policy makers and the community in general, e.g.:
a) Information pertaining to mineral and fossil fuel deposits that could be applied by policy makers to define future strategies and assist them to make informed decisions on allocation of mineral rights and plan infrastructure development.
b) Information regarding mineral and fossil fuel deposits that could potentially attract foreign investments.
c) Information on mineral deposits and fossil fuel occurrences that are too small for large mining houses to be interested in them, but would be ideal for establishment of small mining operations by local communities. This would foster further development of the small-scale mining sector in South Africa.
d) Making documents available to the public about mineral and fossil fuel resources that would enlighten them to understand the need for utilization of the resources but to also make clear their possible environmental impacts and how these can be prevented or minimized through careful scientific evaluation.


To serve as a central hub for research and human resource development in mineral and energy resource analysis in Africa.



University of Johannesburg
Faculty of Science
Department of Geology


University of the Witwatersrand


University of Cape Town
University of Fort Hare
University of the Free State
University of Limpopo
University of Pretoria 
University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
University of Venda
University of the Western Cape
Helmholtz Freiberg Institute for Resource Technology
Rhodes University
Stellenbosch University
Council for Geoscience (CGS)
TU Delft


Professor Nicola Wagner, UJ


Prof Judith Kinnaird, Wits


Segopotso Mashego, UJ
+27 11 559 4715

Reshmi Singh
University of Witwatersrand
+27 11 717 6580


Miss Viwe Koti, UJ
+27 11 559 4728


Department of Geology
C1 Lab 305 (3rd Floor)
University of Johannesburg
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Corner Kingsway Avenue and University Road
Auckland Park
Access via Gate 2

Postal Address:

University of Johannesburg
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
PO Box 524, 2006 Auckland Park South Africa
Tel: +27 11 559 4728