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Prof Bruce Cairncross

Bruce Cairncross
Prof Bruce Cairncross
Department of Geology

Contact Details
C1 Lab 416
+27 (0)11 559 4713

Field(s) of research

Mineralogy, Geoheritage, Coal Geology


Research Interests

My original field of interest was the geology, sedimentology and stratigraphy of South Africa's Permian coal deposits. Although I still have some activity in coal research, during the past few decdes, my research focus has shifted to that of mineralogy and specifically documenting Southern Africa's mineral and gemstone occurrences and southern African geoheritage. This mineral-related research has produced 12 books and over 110 journal articles, conference proceedings and public lectures. In 2020 my latest book titled "Minerals and Gemstones of East Africa" was published. In 2013 the International Mineralogical Association (IMA) approved the name cairncrossite for a new mineral species discovered in the Kalahari manganese field in South Africa. This honour was bestowed on me in recognition of my mineralogical work and international reputation with respect to southern African mineralogy. I am currently on the Editorial Board of Rocks & Minerals and The Mineralogical Record, both of which are mineralogical journals published in the USA.


Lecturing Modules

GLG0067 Economic Geology; GLG0098 Honours project


Recent publications

  • Cairncross, B. and James-Kleynhans, K. (2019). The mineral collection of the Johannesburg Geological Museum. The Mineralogical Record 50(4), 475-490.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Rhodochrosit Südafrika. ExtraLapis 56. Christian Weise Verlag, München, 12-33.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Minerals and Gemstones of East Africa. Struik Nature, Random House Struik, Cape Town, 141 pages.
  • Gliozzo, E., Cairncross, B. and Venneman, T. (2019). A geochemical and micro-textural comparison of basalt-hosted chalcedony from the Jurassic Drakensberg and Neoarchaean Ventersdorp Supergroup (Vaal River Alluvial Gravels), South Africa. International Journal of Earth Sciences. 
  • Barbolini, N., V. Nxumalo, N. Wagner, V., Kramers, J., Vorster, C., Cairncross, B. and Bamford. M.K. (2019). Palynostratigraphic correlation of the Springbok Flats coalfield to other coal-bearing successions in the karoo basins of southern Africa. South African journal of Geology, vol.122(1). doi:10.25131/sajg.122.0001
  • Cairncross, B. (2018). Okorusu fluorite mine, Namibia. Mineralogical Record, 49(3), 375-398.
  • Cairncross, B., Kramers, J. and Villa, I.M. (2018) Unusual speleothem formation in the Thabazimbi mine cave, Limpopo Province, South Africa, and its chronology South African Journal of Geology. South African Journal of Geology, 121(3), 261-270.
  • Cairncross, B., Beukes, N.J., Moore, T. and Wilson, W.E. (2017). The N'Chwaning mines, Kalahari Manganese Field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Mineralogical Record, 48(1), 13-114.
  • Cairncross, B. (2017). Mineral Scene: goethite from Devil's Reef, Swaziland. Geobulletin, 60(1), 41-42.
  • Yang, H., Cairncross, B., Gu, X., Yong, T. and Downs, R.T. (2017). Strontioruizite, IMA 2017-045. CNMNC Newsletter No. 39, October 2017, page 1280; Mineralogical Magazine, 81, 1279–1286.