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The Late Archean Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa represents the world's foremost gold deposit. The basin is also the erosional remnant of the world's oldest (2.02 Ga) and largest known impact structure, the Vredefort impact structure. The debate about the origin of the Witwatersrand gold resource—as a placer deposit, through influx of gold-bearing hydrothermal solutions into the basin or mobilization of basinal fluids, or in the form of a so-called modified placer deposit—has been ongoing for about a century. Currently, most active Witwatersrand workers favor either a hydrothermal process or the modified placer theory, although the nature and timing of...

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