WITWATERSRAND, (South African Dutch, Prange). A gold mining district in the southern part of the Transvaal, the most productive in the world, extending some 40 miles along a low range of hills known by the same name (Map: Transvaal Colony, E 5). The conglomerate or was first discovered in 1885, and tive mining operations began two years later, when the output amounted to 23.000 ounces of gold. Since this date the development of the gold mines has proceeded very rapidly, as is well shown by the growth of the town of burg, which is situated near the centre of the district and which in 1899 contained about 000 inhabitants. The gold is found in certain mineralized beds called formed of quartz pebbles cemented by silica, iron oxides, and pyrites. In the principal series of deposits there are as many as three separate auriferous beds which have an aggregate width of five to six feet and carry about an ounce or 810 per ton in gold. While the ore is low-grade. the great ex
tent of the deposits both laterally and in depth has permitted its exploitation on a large and very profitable scale. In 1899 there were 79 mines gaged in productive operations, and the output of gold amounted to 4,008.326 crude ounces, valued at over $71,000,000. With the outbreak of the Boer in October of that year most of the mines suspended work, and operations since have been conducted on a much smaller scale. Up to the end of 1902 the total output of the Witwatersrand was 24,755,000 ounces, valued at about $440,000,000. It has been estimated by high authorities that the posits lying within 6000 feet of the surface will yet produce gold to the Value of $6,000,000,000, and there is every probability that mining will be carried on below that depth. No district in the world is known to have such enormous stores of gold. See TRANS .SAL; OOLD.