Platinum, Gold and Diamonds: The Adventure of Hans Merensky's Discoveries
Both in South Africa and in Namibia, the name Hans Merensky summons a multitude of well-known public places and instututions: There is the famous Merensky Reef in the Bushveld Complex, the Merensky Dam and Hans Merensky Nature Reserve near Tzaneen, the Hans Merensky Hotel and Golf Estate in Phalaborwa, the Hans Merensky Library at the University of Pretoria, a Hans Merensky Foundation and a Hans Merensky High School, to name but a few. These names, however, leave untold a biography that resembles an adventure novel: The story of Hans Merensky's extraordinary discoveries. Born the son of the well-know missionary Alexander Merensky at Botshabelo in the eastern Transvaal, trained as a geologist in Germany and drawn back to South Africa by his creative ambition to explore the potential of the country of his birth, Hans Merensky (16 March 1871 - 21 October 1952) proved to be far more than the "wizard geologist" the press dubbed him during his heyday. Today it is obvious that Merensky was not only a scientist of note, but also an extremely far-sighted economic strategist, agricultural trendsetter, humanitarian and philanthropist. Nothing could extinguish his enthusiasm for his adopted homeland's undiscovered treasures and despite bankruptcy, internment, illness, political obstacles and later, old age, Hans Merensky saw only opportunity wherever he went. From the discovery of the richest deposit of alluvial gem diamonds ever found at Alexander Bay to the initial attempt at the commercial cultivation of avocados and pecan nuts - almost everything Hans Merensky touched turned to gold.
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Preface and acknowledgements
The life of a discoverer
Lieutenant of the Guard and mining assessor
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