Geography Paper 2, May/June 2013  
Questions:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   Main
General Comments
Question 9

(a) Draw a sketch map of Africa. On the map, locate and name any two areas of gold mining in South Africa.

(b) Describe one method of mining gold in South Africa. (c) State any importance of gold mining to South Africa.

The question was answered by very few candidates and the performance of the few candidates who answered the question was generally poor. Such candidates performed poorly as some could not draw good sketch maps to indicate the area where gold mining takes place in South Africa. Such candidates did not correctly describe the methods of mining gold in South Africa namely the:

(i) Shaft method;
(ii) Panning method;
(iii) Open cast method.

(i) The shaft method This is a method wherein holes are sunk into the gold bearing seams using explosives after which gold bearing rocks are brought to the surface using a conveyor belt. Subsequently, the rocks are crushed and treated with chemicals to obtain the gold. The gold is then sent to smelting industries for refining.

(ii) Panning method This involves the use of a calabash or pan to collect the gold bearing sand. The calabash or pan bearing the gold in water is turned round and round. The gold settles at the bottom of the calabash by sedimentation. Subsequently, the sand is removed from the pan or calabash to collect the sedimented gold deposits which is subsequently taken to a smelting factory for refining.

(iii) Open cast method This method is used when the gold deposit is close to the earth surface. The overburden is scrapped off to expose the surface of the gold bearing rock which is broken up using explosives. The fragmented gold bearing rocks are moved by mechanical shovels into trucks which conveys them to the crusher. The crusher crushes the rocks to extract the gold particles. The (c) part of the question was well attempted by a good proportion of the candidates who answered the question.

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