Geology is the study of the earth's crust and its rock formations, and includes classifying and mapping of the composition and distribution of mineral deposits contained in the earth's formations. In the mining industry, this knowledge is applied to find additional mineral resources and to upgrade existing resources.

Geologists operate in wide areas. Two of these, mining geology and exploration geology, are vital to the mining industry.

  • Mining geologists ensure that the minerals are efficiently extracted from the deposit for maximum profit.
  • Exploration geologists locate deposits of important minerals and determine whether the quantities are large enough to make mining economically viable.

Most of the geologists employed by Impala are mining geologists although there are a number of exploration geologists. Mining and exploration geologists have different responsibilities and are involved in different job activities.

Mining geology

A mining geologist's activities include mapping, recording and compiling geological data in and around the mine. This provides the mining engineer with details of the location, structure and distribution of ore in a deposit. Furthermore, the mining geologist delineates the ore reserves on which the mine's life depends, using geoscientific techniques to predict the grade and structure of ore bodies in unknown areas. The mine geologist plays a crucial role in the optimisation of the ore body and is intimately involved in the mine planning process.

What you should study

Those of you who are more academically inclined and want to study at university, can study towards a BSc (Hons) in geology, a four-year, full time course. This will enable you to work as a geologist and to register as a professional scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientists. You will need to pass a medical fitness test, undergo a psychometric assessment and attend an interview.


Fact sheet

  A Career at Implats
February 2011  (PDF - 342KB)  


Human resources

North-West operations

Glynis Scott, HR Manager: Recruitment

Gauteng Operations (Refineries/Head Office)

Nicolette Jansen van Rensburg, Senior Human Resources Officer

Marula (Limpopo Province)

Paula Shihlomule, Senior Human Resources Officer

Zimplats (Zimbabwe)

Joshua Ndoziya, Senior Human Resources Officer


Kefiloe Seome

To be accepted for a BSc degree you will need a senior certificate with university exemption and mathematics and science on higher grade.

In addition, if you have an Impala bursary, you will be required to complete structured vacation work at a mine or exploration office.

Graduate career

Graduates with Honours degrees in geology join a mine or exploration office as geologists-in-training, and are placed on a training programme designed to suit the requirements of the individual mine or exploration office. Once this has been completed, you may be appointed as a mine or project geologist. From then on you will follow these promotional routes:

  • Mine/Project Geologist
  • Senior Geologist
  • Geology Manager
  • Ore Resource Manager
  • Consulting geologist

We are looking for

Someone who is highly motivated and a self-starter should consider geology. The ability to distill the essence of a situation from large amounts of information, an eye for detail and the ability to see in 3-D are essential. These attributes, combined with an overall aptitude for mathematics, science and computer literacy, are the basic qualities in the sort of person who will find this career challenging. In addition, the following are also important in a geologist:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Physical fitness
  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to work in a team
  • Self-assurance
  • An interest in mining
  • An ability to keep abreast of developments in the field