Kumba-Exxaro Chair in Geodynamics of Ore Deposits

The Kumba-Exxaro Chair in Geodynamics of Ore Deposits at UP was newly installed in July 2009, with Prof. Wladyslaw Altermann of the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany, as the Chair incumbent. in 2020, Dr Lorenzo Milani, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Geology, succeeded Prof Altermann as the Kumba-Exxaro Chair. The Chair thrives to serve the Geoscience community by widening international relations and state-of-the-art specialized knowledge.

Foreign scientists receive a special invitation as “Kumba-Exxaro Fellows”, the flight costs and costs covering they stay in Pretoria, are reimbursed. The “Kumba-Exxaro Lecture Series” were established, and offer several short courses held by foreign specialists each year, at UP for Honours students and for industry delegates. The courses are financed through the generous support by Kumba and Exxaro. Participants from the Industry pay a small fee that is contributing to student projects and education.

The invitation is for scientific cooperation and for presenting a 2-5 days short course, attended by UP post-graduate students and by industry delegates. An invitation letter and a certificate is issued to the invited guests. Usually, the Kumba-Exxaro Fellows also participate in field work, in projects with Prof. Altermann and post-graduate students of the Chair. The courses are announced nationally and internationally by the Geological Society of South Africa and the Geological Society of Africa, of which Prof. Altermann is the Vice-President.

International post-graduate student delegates to the Kumba-Exxaro Lecture Series and collaborating with the Chair receive small short-term bursaries from the Chair and can also be involved in field work, especially with mining companies in South Africa.

Forbes Interview 2014

Some Kumba-Exxaro Lecture Series and Short Courses presented to date and seminars organized:


  • Prof. N. Arndt, University of Grenoble, France: “Archean Environment: the Habitat of Early Life -  Scientific Drilling in the Barberton Greenstone Belt”
  • Prof. Martin van Kranendonk, of the Geological Survey of Western Australia: “Archaean tectonics”.
  • Dr. Michaela Frei, BGR, Hannover, Germany: “Geological Remote Sensing and Mineral Exploration”.


  • Dr. Li Na, Ministry of Mining and Mineral Resources, China: “Automated rock classification, based on remote sensing data, applied to Iron Formations”
  • Dr. Michaela Frei, BGR, Hannover, Germany “Geological Remote Sensing and Mineral Exploration”.
  • Joachim Strobel, Manager Formation Evaluation RWE-Dea, Germany: “Formation Evaluation for the Oil & Gas Industry.
  • Prof. Eckart Wallbrecher, Emeritus, University of Graz, Austria: “Computer Applications in Structural Geology -Visualization, Quantification and Statistical Analysis of Structural Data”.
  • Seminar on Bio-Geology & Geo-Biology by Prof. Wlady Altermann, UP: "Life in the Archean – South African heritage“; Dr. Ricardo Amils, Centro de Astrobiología, Madrid, Spain: "Importance of the iron cycle in bio-mining: lessons from Río Tinto“; Dr. David Fernández Remolar, Centro de Astrobiología, Madrid, Spain: "Exploring extreme environments on Earth for searching life on Mars“ and Dr. Javier Alvaro, Centro de Astrobiología, Madrid, Spain: “Introduction to the Meso-Neoproterozoic of the West African Craton and its Atlas margin"


  • Prof. Particia L. Corcoran, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada: “Unravelling Earth’s Evolution from Natural and Anthropogenic Sediment Particles”
  • Mining excursion by Canadian and SA students led by Prof. Corcoran and Prof. Pratt, University of Western Ontario, London, and Prof W. Altermann, to mines of Kumba and Exxaro, the Cullinan Petra Diamonds Mine, the Sheeba Gold Mine and to the Barberton Greenstone Belt, Transvaal Supergroup, Pretoria Group, etc.
  • Prof. J.W. Schopf, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), USA, has received an Honorary Doctorate and gave a fascinating lecture on the history and advances of Archean paleobiology


  • Prof. Harendra Nath Bhattacharya, Presidency University of Kolkata, India: “Precambrian Metallogeny of India”.
  • Miss Vusani Mathada, MSc student, visited the Presidency University of Kolkata and worked with Prof. Bhattacharaya on her MSc thesis .
  • Prof. Ch. Gauert of UFS, Bloemfontein: “Prospecting for PGE” to BSc. Hons. students.
  • In July/August /to the 7th of September, Prof. Altermann was guest researcher at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia on the invitation of Prof. Martin van Kranendonk for fieldwork in Pilbara and research at UNSW.


  • Dr. Birger Hansen, Eriksfiord Consulting Group, Brussels, Belgium: “ Subsurface Geology and Geomechanics, based on Borehole Imaging (BHI).
  • Prof. Christoph Heubeck, University of Jena, Germany: “Fundamentals of Petroleum Geoscience: Science, Engineering and Society”.
  • Prof. Ch. Gauert, UFS, Bloemfontein: “Prospecting for PGE” to BSc. Hons. students.
  • 1st University of Pretoria Carbon Capture and Storage Working Group Conference: Progress in CO2 projects in Geology


  • Prof. Costanza Bonadiman, Dr. Renzo Tassinari, Ferrara University (Italy). 10-15 October: Seminar “The mantle and its mineral resources”, with a 2-day fieldtrip to Barberton (Mpumalanga)
- Author Lorenzo Milani

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