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Bruce Cairncross

Emeritus Professor
Name: Bruce Cairncross
Location: C1 Lab 416 Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Department of Geology Staff  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: +27 (0)11 559 4713

Email: brucec@uj.aca

About Prof Bruce Cairncross

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 14 books and over 126 journal articles, 45 conference proceedings and 112 public lectures. My latest book titled “Minerals and Gemstones of southern Africa” will be available from June 2022. 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.


Recent books

  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Minerals and Gemstones of East Africa. Struik Nature, Random House Struik, Cape Town, 141 pages.
  • McCarthy, T.S. and Cairncross, B. (2021). Minerals & Crystals: Morphology, Properties, Identification. Struik Nature, Random House Struik, Cape Town, 312 pages.
  • Cairncross, B. (2022). Minerals and Gemstones of southern Africa. Struik Nature, Random House Struik, Cape Town, South Africa, 320 pages.


Recent peer-reviewed articles





  • 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). Connoisseur’s Choice: Tanzanite gem variety of zoisite: Merelani Hills, Simanjiro District Manyara Region, Tanzania. Rocks & Minerals. 94(6), 530-537.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Roymillerite: Who’s who in mineral names, Rocks & Minerals. 94(5), 475-476.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Minerals and Gemstones of East Africa. Struik Nature, Random House Struik, Cape Town, 141 pages.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Connoisseur’s Choice. Vonbezingite. Rocks & Minerals. 94(3), 250-253.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Gamagarite: the where of mineral names. Rocks & Minerals. 94(3), 280-285.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Senegalite: the where of mineral names. Rocks & Minerals. 94(5), 460-462.
  • 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. (2019). Connoisseur’s Choice: duftite after wulfenite. Rocks & Minerals, 94(1), 54-59.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). The where of mineral names: Mammothite, Mammoth-St. Anthony mine, Arizona, USA. Rocks & Minerals, 94(1), 92-95.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Tarbuttite: Connoisseur’s Choice, Rocks & Minerals. 94(2), 150-155.
  • Southwood, M., Cairncross, B. and Rumsey, M. (2019). The minerals of Kabwe mine, Zambia. Rocks & Minerals. 94(2), 114-148.
  • Cairncross, B. (2019). Nimite: The where of minerals names. Rocks & Minerals. 94(2), 191-193.