St Andrews visit to Angola, September 2019

View out over the Avenida Marginale and Luanda Bay

St Andrews University recently took part in a workshop and fieldcourse in Angola, hosted by the Universidade Agonstinho Neto. The purpose of the trip was to outreach our work on alkaline igneous rocks and to learn more about similar rocks found in Angola. It started with a day workshop on frontiers in the study of alkaline igneous rocks, which included presentations by Adrian Finch and Anouk Borst (University of St Andrews) and Pete Siegfried of GeoAfrica Consultants (based in Namibia). GeoAfrica and St Andrews are both partners within the HiTech AlkCarb consortium, funded by the European Union. The workshop was hosted by the Universidade Agostinho Neto at their campus in central Luanda on the Avenida Marginale.

  • 12 Sep 2019        Alkaline Igneous Magmatism workshop in Luanda
  • 15-20 Sep 2019    Fieldcourse in the Nejoio complex, Southern Angola.
Angolan Map Sep 2019
Map of Angola showing the location of the workshop (Luanda) and the Nejoio complex, north of Lubango in Southern Angola, which was the subject of the field excursion.

The workshop in Luanda was attended by about 60 geologists working in Angola, including representatives from the University, the Angolan Oil company Sonangol,  recent Angolan graduates and many of the geology, geophysics and engineering students from the Agostinho Neto University.

Speakers spent some time with the University Student Geological Society and looking at the collections of the National geological Museum which is housed in the same building and tended by students from the course.

The workshop in Luanda was followed by a 5 day field workshop looking at agpaitic and peralkaline igneous rocks at the Nejoio complex in Southern Angola. The group were based in the town of Camacuio in Namibe Province. This was an opportunity for us to learn more about working in Angola and also to assist Angolan geologists with the interpretation of their geology using our experience of similar rocks from Greenland and Namibia. The group included Finch, Borst and Siegfried accompanied by Professor Aurora Bambi of the Universidade Agonstinho Neto in Luanda. The course was also attended by two recent geology graduates from St Andrews (Geraldine Tchimbali and Antonia dos Santos) and four current geology students from the Agostinho Neto University (Andre Eugenio, Egidio Lopes, Elizabeth Faria and Sergio Azevedo) who will use the field course as part of their undergraduate dissertations.



St Andrews has a long history of working in alkaline igneous rocks in Africa and, through its membership of the HiTech AlkCarb consortium, this has included the alkaline igneous rocks of Namibia. Pete Siegfried, who attended the course, has many decades of experience studying alkaline igneous rocks in Northern Namibia and his ability to place the geology in a broader regional context was important to the success of the field course.

It was a pleasure and a privilege for us to work alongside the geologists from the Agostinho Neto University in Luanda, allowing us insights into the complex and fascinating geology of Angola, and allowing Angolan geologists access to the expertise we have acquired from rocks elsewhere in the world. A key objective of the project was to place Angolan geology within the broader regional context of South West Africa (i.e. South Africa, Namibia, Angola).

Links to the workshop in Luanda and the field course in Nejoio are available behind passwords for those who attended each course.
Nejoio is spelled a variety of ways, including N’djoio, Nandjoio and Nedjoio, reflecting different attempts to translate a locality name in the local Kimbundu language into Portuguese. To be consistent with the largest body of  published data on the area, we have used ‘Nejoio’.
Research on Nejoio was carried out thanks to the kind permission of Soba (Chief) Nangolo of the Muhumbi People on whose lands the Nejoio complex lies. The fieldwork and attendance by Borst and Finch were sponsored by the Global Challenges Research Fund. The attendance of Peter Siegfried was supported by the HiTech AlkCarb project, funded through the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (#689909). Scientific work from the HiTech AlkCarb and SoS RARE projects were presented as part of the symposium.

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