Namibia flagGeology of an ancient porphyry copper deposit,
Karas region, Namibia

Kurt Friehauf - 2011

Namibia geologic map with circle around Haib
                  study area

Africa map showing location of Namibia


This is a spectactularly exciting project, both because the geology is phenomenal, the people involved are outstanding!  The deposit itself is remarkable in that it is almost two billion years old!  Most copper deposits of this type are much younger - most are less than one fourth that old.  (Thinking about it in terms of human lives, this deposit is an 80-year-old woman and most of the others in the world are teenagers!)  Even more amazing is the condition of the deposit - hardly kissed by subsequent metamorphic overprinting!
The Namibians are friendly, very smart, and very hard-working.  It was a pleasure to work with such good people. 

Namibian countryside along B1Southern Namibian countryside

We flew into the capital city of Windhook (pronounced "vin-took").  It was an eight hour drive south along the main highway (B1) to the field site.  Along the way, we saw baboons and other wildlife, as well as some very beautiful scenery. 

Click here to see photos of the Namibian countryside in winter.

Namibia campCamp

Camp was a cleaned-up old house built in the early 1970's by another mineral exploration company.  Cold showers, headlamps to read at night, etc.  The people in camp were good people, which is the single, absolutely essential ingredient for a good camp life.

Click here to see photos of camp.

Saave, Moses, and Jewels and HaibField work

Outcrop in the field area is great.  Being there in August, the weather was perfect for hiking around in the rugged desert terrain.  The Namibian geologists were very well-trained in geologic mapping techniques in these types of deposits, and they are tough hikers who are happy to go wherever the geology takes them. 
The copper deposit was discovered decades ago, so there is a wealth of drill core data and maps by earlier workers.   There was none-the-less a lot of work still to be done.  Teck - the company who is prospecting the site and hosted us - has a smart plan for assessing the deposit.  I can see why Teck is so successful.

Click here to see photos of our field work.

big Namibian bugWildlife

There are a lot of interesting living things in the field area - some strange, some dangerous, and all beautiful.  Being there in winter - a cool, dry time in the desert - affected the diversity of life we found.  We did not see any of the spitting cobras, leapords, and other scary creatures known in the area, but saw instead a great variety of creatures.  Deserts are wonderful places!

Click here to see photos of wildlife we saw as we worked. 

Windhoek, NamibiaWindhoek (the capital) and the University of Namibia

We spent a few days in Windhoek so we could visit the University of Namibia, where I gave a talk and met with faculty and students.  We also did some shopping while in town. 

Click here to see photos of our visit with the University of Namibia and tourism around town.

Jewels Wilk in NamibiaJewels' thoughts on the experience

You've heard enough from me, but mine is only one perspective.  Jewels Wilk - a Kutztown University undergraduate student - accompanied me on the trip.  She was a productive member of our team - especially when logging drill core. 

Click here to hear her side of the story.

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