Geological Surveyor

South Africa has a diversity of geological materials such as gold, diamonds, platinum and coal. Mining contributes over 7% to the national economy and is a key employer. Mining activities do however significantly impact the natural environment, through water pollution, biodiversity loss and land use change. Geological surveys investigate features above and beneath a landscape to understand the scope of resources and implications of mining them.

Geological surveyors plan, direct and conduct surveys to determine, delineate, plan and precisely position tracks of land, natural and constructed features, coastlines, marine flows and underground works. They map mineral deposits and investigate the commercial potential of mining, assessing the risks and predicting environmental impact as a result. They record the extent of extraction and can assist in restoration once an area has been exhausted.

Geological surveyors engage with urban planners, engineers and other development professionals. They can work in offices developing reports as well as often traveling to onsite locations to survey the landscape.

Skills

Geological surveyors require an extensive knowledge of mineral economics, mineral properties and land use planning legislation. They will also benefit from:

  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Strong scientific and mathematical ability
  • Ability to interpret maps, charts and graphical data
  • Good verbal and written communication and presentation skills

Tasks

Survey, measure, calculate and describe land surfaces

Design, compile and revise maps, charts and other surveying documents

Research and report on the development of surveys and land information systems 

Maintain technical liaison with relevant specialists 

Studies

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Surveying at UCT and UKZN

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Surveying at MUT and TUT

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Geomatics at CPUT

Employers

National, provincial and local government.

Construction and mining companies.

Private consultancies. 

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