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Bertus Smith

Associate Professor​
Name: Bertus Smith
Location: C1 Lab 413 Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Department of Geology Staff  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: +27 (0)11 559 4709

Email: bertuss@uj.ac.za

About Prof Bertus Smith

Bertus Smith is currently specializing in Economic Geology with a focus on sedimentary iron and manganese deposits. Other research interests include Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic sedimentary successions and Geometallurgy, which is the quantification of the variability of ore deposits in terms of processing behaviour (blasting, crushing, milling, liberation and recovery). He is also affiliated with the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis (CIMERA) as well as the PPM Research Group, both based at the Department of Geology at the University of Johannesburg. He completed his PhD in Geology at UJ in 2014, which focused on Geometallurgy of the Merensky Reef at Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine. He completed his MSc in 2007 on the banded iron formations and iron-rich mudstones of the Witwatersrand and Pongola Supergroups at UJ, for which he received the Chancellors Medal for most meritorious MSc thesis in the Faculty of Science, as well as the Corstorphine Medal and Johan Handley Prize from the Geological Society of South Africa. He also received the award for best student speaker at the Society for Economic Geology Student Geocongress for a presentation on his MSc work in 2008.


Research Interests

Economic Geology; Precambrian banded iron formations; Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic sedimentary geology; Geometallurgy; process mineralogy.


Teaching Responsibilities

Economic Geology
Applied Mineralogy


Recent publications

  • Humbert, F., Elburg, M.A., Agangi, A., Belyanin, G., Akoh, J., Smith, A.J.B., Chou, Y-M. and Beukes, N.J. (2020). A ~1.4 Ga alkaline mafic sill from the Carletonville area: connection to the Pilanesberg Alkaline Province? South African Journal of Geology, 123, 597-614. https://doi.org/10.25131/sajg.123.0039
  • Mkhatshwa, S.F., Guy, B.M., Smith, A.J.B. and Viljoen, K.S. (2020). A mineralogical perspective on the recovery of uranium from brannerite-rich ore at Cooke Section, West Rand Goldfield, South Africa. South African Journal of Geology, 123, 615-632. https://doi.org/10.25131/sajg.123.0031
  • Schier, K., Bau, M., Smith, A.J.B., Beukes, N.J., Coetzee, L.L. and Viehmann, S. (2020). Chemical evolution of seawater in the Transvaal Ocean between 2426Ma (Ongeluk Large Igneous Province) and 2413 Ma ago (Kalahari Manganese Field). Gondwana Research, 88, 373-388. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2020.09.001
  • Smith, A.J.B., Beukes, N.J., Gutzmer, J., Johnson, C.M., Czaja, A.D., Nhleko, N., De Beer, F., Hoffman, J.W. and Awramik, S.M. (2020). Life on a Mesoarchean marine shelf – insights from the world’s oldest known granular iron formation. Scientific Reports, 10, 10519. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-66805-0
  • Humbert, F., Agangi, A., Massuyeau, M., Elburg, M.A., Belyanin, G., Smith, A.J.B., Iaccheri, L., Coetzee, L.L. and Wabo, H. (2020). Rifting of the Kaapvaal Craton during the early Paleoproterozoic: evidence from magmatism in the western Transvaal subbasin (South Africa). Precambrian Research, 342,105687. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2020.105687
  • De Kock, M.O., Monareng, B.F., Blignaut, L., Smith, A.J.B. and Beukes, N.J. (2020). Geochemistry of Paleoproterozoic saprolite developed in diabase intruding the Hotazel Formation in the Avontuur deposit of the Kalahari Manganese Field, South Africa. South African Journal of Geology, 123, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.25131/sajg.123.0001
  • Smith, A.J.B., Gutzmer, J., Beukes, N.J. and Chisonga, B.C. (2019). Iron ores of the Hotazel Formation, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Australian Institute for Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), Iron Ore 2019, Perth, Australia, 22-24 July 2019, 414-433.
  • Albut, G., Kamber, B.S., Brüske, A., Beukes, N.J., Smith, A.J.B. and Schoenberg, R. (2019). Modern weathering in outcrop samples versus ancient paleoredox information in drill core samples from a Mesoarchaean marine oxygen oasis in Pongola Supergroup, South Africa. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 265, 330-353. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2019.09.001
  • Robbins, L.J., Funk, S.P., Flynn, S.L., Wachola, T.J., Li, Z., Lalonde, S.V., Rostron, B.J., Smith, A.J.B., Beukes, N.J., De Kock, M.O., Heaman, L.M., Alessi, D.S. and Konhauser, K.O. (2019). Hydrogeological constraints on the formation of Palaeoproterozoic banded iron formations. Nature Geoscience, 12, 558-563. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0372-0
  • Humbert, F., De Kock, M.O., Altermann, W., Elburg, M.A., Lenhardt, N., Smith, A.J.B. and Msango, S. (2018). Petrology, physical volcanology and geochemistry of a Paleoproterozoic large igneous province: The Hekpoort Formation in the southern Transvaal sub-basin (Kaapvaal craton). Precambrian Research, 315, 232-256.
  • Smith, A.J.B. (2018). The Iron Formations of Southern Africa. In: Siegesmund, S., Basei, M.A.S., Oyhantçabal, P. and Oriolo, S. (eds), Geology of Southwest Gondwana, Springer, Cham, pp. 469-491. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-68920-3_17
  • Albut, G., Babechuk, M.G., Kleinhanns, I.C., Benger, M., Beukes, N.J., Steinhilber, B., Smith, A.J.B., Kruger, S.J. and Schoenberg, R. (2018). Modern rather than Mesoarchaean oxidative weathering responsible for the heavy stable Cr isotopic signatures of the 2.95 Ga old Ijzermijn iron formation (South Africa). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 228, 157-189. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2018.02.034
  • Smith, A.J.B., Beukes, N.J., Gutzmer, J., Czaja, A.D., Johnson, C.M. and Nhleko, N. (2017). Oncoidal granular iron formation in the Mesoarchaean Pongola Supergroup, southern Africa: Textural and geochemical evidence for biological activity during iron deposition. Geobiology, 15, 731-749. https://doi.org/10.1111/gbi.12248
  • Viehmann, S., Bau, M., Smith, A.J.B., Beukes, N.J., Dantas, E.L. and Bühn, B. (2015). The reliability of ~2.9 Ga old Witwatersrand banded iron formation (South Africa) as archives for Mesoarchean seawater: Evidence from REE and Nd isotope systematics. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 111, 322-334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2015.08.013