Metallogeny and Paleogeographic Implications of Layered Igneous Complexes (LICs) and Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs)

Focus Area 2

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.

The Bushveld Complex (BC) in South Africa is by far the best-preserved and largest layered igneous complex in the world. It also contains the largest global resources of the platinum group metals and chromium, and significant amounts of copper, nickel, iron, vanadium and titanium. It thus provides South African scientists the opportunity to be at the forefront of understanding the origin of layered igneous complexes and mineral deposits associated with them. It is therefore understandable that it is one of the major focus areas of research in DSI-NRF CIMERA.

The information gained from the study of the Bushveld Complex on metallogenesis in layered igneous complexes can also be applied to other such complexes to better understand their origin and to determine whether they could be considered targets for the exploration of new mineral deposits. It is for this reason that DSI-NRF CIMERA is also funding student research projects on two other layered igneous complexes in southern Africa, namely the Kunene Anorthosite Complex in southern Angola, the Molopo Farms Complex along the border between Botswana and South Africa and the study of large igneous provinces (LIPs), especially large dyke, sill and related extrusive volcanic events in a global context.

Current Research:

  1. A non-traditional Fe-Cu-Zn stable isotope perspective on the origin of, and vectors to, mineralisation in the Bushveld Large Igneous Province
    Ass. Prof. Grant Bybee
  2. A high-precision Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic study of the mafic-ultramafic layered sequence of the Bushveld Complex to constrain its magma sources
    Prof. Lewis Ashwal
  3. High precision geochronology of the Waterberg and Rooiberg groups to constrain the shallow crustal effects of the Bushveld LIP
    Dr Scott Maclennan
  4. Petrogenesis and geochronology of mineralised pegmatoidal pods hosted in the Kunene Anorthosite Complex, Angola
    Ass. Prof. Lorenzo Milani
  5. In situ multiple sulphur isotope analysis by SIMS of pyrrhotite, pentlandite, and chalcopyrite in the Flatreef, northern limb, Bushveld Complex
    Dr Jarlen Keet
  6. The Geology and mineralization of the Uitloop Farm, Northern Limb, Limpopo, South Africa
    Dr Marina Yudovskaya
  7. An isotopic perspective on the origin of stratiform chromite ore deposits in the Bushveld Complex, South Africa
    Dr Ben Hayes
  8. Concentrate and tailings particle analysis of the UG2 reef at Impala platinum mines to evaluate if better recoveries can be achieved
    Ass. Prof. Bertus Smith
  9. Constraining magma sources and the metallogenesis of the Bushveld Complex using Nd isotopes in apatite
    Ass. Prof. Grant Bybee
  10. A multi-isotope (Sr-Nd-Hf) investigation of the Upper Zone of the Rustenburg Layered Suite of the Bushveld Complex
    Prof. Lewis Ashwal
  11. A radiogenic and stable isotope investigation into the petrogenesis of the anorthosite suite in the Kunene AMCG Complex
    Dr Ben Hayes
  12. Structural geology of mineralized mafic-ultramafic intrusions at the periphery of the Kunene Complex (KC) in northern Namibia
    Ass. Prof. Jeremie Lehmann
  13. The regional, lateral, and veridical variations of V and Ti in magnetitite layers and their petrogenetic relationship to magnetite pipes in the Bushveld Complex
    Dr Ben Hayes