If you are wondering whether or not the tremors we felt on 5 August will happen again and what caused them, join Prof Ray Durrheim, a CSIR principal researcher for a panel discussion, reflecting on the previous large mining-related earthquake in 2005, which also registered 5.3 on the Richter scale in the town of Orkney, 120 km southwest of Johannesburg.

The discussion will also cover a report delivered to the Minister of Mineral Resources in 2006 on the risks to miners, mines and the public, associated with large seismic events in gold mining districts.

Date: Monday, 18 August 2014
Time: 11:30 – 13:00
Venue: Knowledge Commons, Ulwazi

More about Prof Ray Durrheim

Ray has a Bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in science.He started his career in 1979 as an exploration geophysicist with Gencorn where he was involved in gold, coal and base metal projects, gaining field and interpretation experience in ground and airborne magnetics, gravity, resistivity, controlled source audio-magnetotellurics, induced polarisation, ground and airborne electromagnetic. During his national service (1979-81), he was seconded to the Geological Survey, where he conducted geotechnical investigations.

He was appointed a lecturer in the Geophysics Department at Wits University in 1983 where his research activities included investigations of the crust and upper mantle using both explosive and mine tremor energy sources, and the application of the reflection seismic method to gold and platinum exploration. He spent a sabbatical year (1989-1990) at the Geophysical Institute in Karlsruhe, Germany and the United States Geological Survey Office of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Engineering in Menlo Park, California.

Ray joined the CSIR in 1993, where he conducted research in the fields of mine seismology and rock bursting, and managed the deep mine and future mine collaborative research programmes. He was seconded to the Mining and Mineral Sciences Laboratories of Natural Resources Canada in Ottawa during 2003. In 2005, he was appointed by the Chief Inspector of Mines to lead an investigation into the risks posed by large earthquakes in the gold mining districts of South Africa.

He was appointed to the Wits/CSIR South African Research Chair in Exploration, Earthquake and Mining Seismology in April 2007. He has continued with mine seismology research at the CSIR and taken up teaching, research and supervision responsibilities at Wits. He is the principal investigator of the five-year Japanese/South African collaborative research project titled “Observational studies in South African mines to mitigate earthquake risks”.

If you are interested in attending the talk via video conference from Durban, Johannesburg or Stellenbosch, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.