Virginia, Free State

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Coordinates: 28°6′23″S26°51′44″E / 28.10639°S 26.86222°E / -28.10639; 26.86222 Coordinates: 28°6′23″S26°51′44″E / 28.10639°S 26.86222°E / -28.10639; 26.86222
Country South Africa
Province Free State
District Lejweleputswa
Municipality Matjhabeng
  TypePart of a Municipality
  Total82.1 km2 (31.7 sq mi)
 (2011) [1]
  Density810/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
   Black African 88.7%
   Coloured 0.7%
   Indian/Asian 0.4%
   White 9.9%
First languages (2011)
   Sotho 65.4%
   Xhosa 13.1%
   Afrikaans 11.0%
   English 2.7%
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code 057

Virginia is a gold mining town located in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality and on goldfields of the Free State province in South Africa about 140 km (90 mi) northeast of Bloemfontein the provincial capital.

Gold Chemical element with atomic number 79

Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions. Gold often occurs in free elemental (native) form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and in alluvial deposits. It occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver and also naturally alloyed with copper and palladium. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, often with tellurium.

Lejweleputswa District Municipality District municipality in Free State, South Africa

Lejweleputswa is one of the 5 districts of Free State province of South Africa. The seat of Lejweleputswa is Welkom. The majority of its 657 019 people speak Sotho. The district code is DC18.

Free State goldfields

The Free State goldfields were only developed after the Second World War even though gold had been discovered in 1938. The development gave rise to major development of the region.



In 1890, two railway surveyors from the state of Virginia in the United States etched the name of their birthplace on a boulder near the farm Merriespruit. When a railway siding was eventually established at this spot, the name was adopted, and it stuck after the discovery of gold in 1949 which resulted in a mushrooming settlement on the banks of the Sand River. In 1988 the Sand River burst its banks and flooded parts of the town. In 1994 the Merriespruit tailings dam disaster occurred just outside Virginia, killing seventeen people. [2]

The following lists events that happened during 1890 in South Africa.

Virginia U.S. state in the United States

Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

On the 5 December 2000, Virginia was incorporated into the Matjhabeng Local Municipality along with the city of Welkom and the towns of Allanridge, Hennenman, Odendaalsrus and Ventersburg. During the apartheid era, black people Lived outside Virginia in the location of Meloding. The town itself boomed during the gold mining years' golden age and gold mining is still responsible for most of the towns' economy.

Matjhabeng Local Municipality Local municipality in Free State, South Africa

Matjhabeng Local Municipality is an administrative area in the Lejweleputswa District of the Free State in South Africa, that includes the city of Welkom. The name is a Sesotho word meaning "where nations meet". It is derived from the migrant labour system where people from various countries like Lesotho, Mozambique, etc. meet to work in the mines of the Goldfields.

Welkom Place in Free State, South Africa

Welkom is the second-largest city in the Free State province of South Africa, located about 140 kilometres (90 mi) northeast of Bloemfontein, the provincial capital. Welkom is also known as Circle City, City Within A Garden, Mvela and Matjhabeng. The city's English name, Matjhabeng means 'where nations meet', derived from the migrant labour system, where people of various countries such as Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique etc. met to work in the mines of the gold fields.

Allanridge Place in Free State, South Africa

Allanridge is a gold mining town in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality of the Free State province in South Africa. It is the main centre of the Loraine Gold Mining Company and is dominated by the tall headgear and complex reduction works that processes thousands of tons of gold-bearing ore every month.


Virginia is surrounded by some of the largest gold fields in Free State, and its economy is dominated by mining, gold-extraction plants, and the manufacture of sulfuric acid from gold ore. It is also known for having the deepest pipe-mine into the earth on the planet. [3] Commercial farms in the surrounding area primarily grow maize (corn) and raise livestock. Virginia is located on the main rail line between Bloemfontein and Johannesburg.

Sulfuric acid chemical compound

Sulfuric acid (alternative spelling sulphuric acid), also known as vitriol, is a mineral acid composed of the elements sulfur, oxygen and hydrogen, with molecular formula H2SO4. It is a colorless, odorless, and syrupy liquid that is soluble in water and is synthesized in reactions that are highly exothermic.

Maize Cereal grain

Maize, also known as corn, is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits.

Johannesburg Place in Gauteng, South Africa

Johannesburg, informally known as Jozi or Jo'burg, is the largest city in South Africa and one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is the provincial capital and largest city of Gauteng, which is the wealthiest province in South Africa. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa's three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court. The city is located in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the centre of large-scale gold and diamond trade.

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Bloemfontein Place in Free State, South Africa

Bloemfontein is the capital city of the province of Free State of South Africa; and, as the judicial capital of the nation, one of South Africa's three national capitals and is the seventh largest city in South Africa. Situated at an altitude of 1,395 m (4,577 ft) above sea level, the city is home to approximately 520,000 residents and forms part of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality which has a population of 747,431.

Lillooet District municipality in British Columbia, Canada

Lillooet, formerly Cayoosh Flat, is a community on the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 mi) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. Situated at an intersection of deep gorges in the lee of the Coast Mountains, it has a dry climate with an average of 329.5 millimetres (13 in) of precipitation being recorded annually. Lillooet has a long growing season, and once had prolific market gardens and orchard produce. It often vies with Lytton and Osoyoos for the title of "Canada's Hot Spot" on a daily basis in summer.

Hudsons Hope District municipality in British Columbia, Canada

Hudson's Hope is a district municipality in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, in the Peace River Regional District. It covers an area of 927 square kilometres (358 sq mi) with a population of 1,157 people. Having been first settled along the Peace River in 1805, it is the third-oldest European-Canadian community in the province, although it was not incorporated until 1965. Most jobs in the economy are associated with the nearby W. A. C. Bennett Dam and Peace Canyon Dam, and timber logging.

Free State (province) Province of South Africa

The Free State is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, which is also South Africa's judicial capital. Its historical origins lie in the Boer republic called Orange Free State and later Orange Free State Province.

Klerksdorp Place in North West, South Africa

Klerksdorp is located in the North West Province, South Africa. Klerksdorp is the largest city in the North West Province. Mahikeng, the provincial capital, lies roughly 170 km north-west of Klerksdorp and Johannesburg 170 km in a north-eastern direction.

Kroonstad Place in Free State, South Africa

Kroonstad is the third largest town in the Free State and lies two hours drive on the N1 from Gauteng. Maokeng is an area within Kroonstad, and is occasionally used as a synonym of the town itself. It is the second-largest commercial and urban centre in the Northern Free State, and an important railway junction on the main line from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Maokeng is Sesotho and means "place of the thorn trees ".

Bethlehem, Free State Place in Free State, South Africa

Bethlehem is a large town in the eastern Free State province of South Africa that is situated on the Liebenbergs river along a fertile valley just north of the Rooiberg Mountains on the N5 road.It is the fastest growing town in the Free state province, with its target of being the Fourth largest city after Kroonstad in balance.

Clarens, Free State Place in Free State, South Africa

Clarens is a small town situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in the Free State province of South Africa and nicknamed the "Jewel of the Eastern Free State". It was established in 1912 and named after the town of Clarens in Switzerland where exiled Paul Kruger spent his last days. It is situated 336 km from Johannesburg, 284 km from Bloemfontein, 389 km from Durban.

Odendaalsrus Place in Free State, South Africa

Odendaalsrus is the oldest gold mining town in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality in the goldfields of the Free State province in South Africa.

Theunissen Place in Free State, South Africa

Theunissen is a small town that has the only wine estate, the Theunissen Wine Farm, in the Free State province of South Africa. It is located about 95 kilometers northeast of Bloemfontein and about 45 kilometers south of Welkom. It was founded by Boer War Commandant Helgaardt Theunissen. Theunissen has a small community which supports the local businesses.

Frankfort, Free State Place in Free State, South Africa

Frankfort is a small farming town situated on the banks of the Wilge River in the Free State province of South Africa. The town was laid out in 1869 on the farm Roodepoort, and named Frankfurt by Albert van Gordon. The town later received municipality status in 1896.

Heilbron Place in Free State, South Africa

Heilbron is a small farming town in the Free State province of South Africa which services the cattle, dairy, sorghum, sunflower and maize industries. Raw stock beneficiation occurs in leisure foods, dairy products and stock feeds. It also serves as a dormitory town for the Gauteng metropolis.

Botshabelo, meaning "a place of refuge", is a large township set up in 1979 by the then apartheid government 45 km east of Bloemfontein in the present-day Free State province of South Africa. Botshabelo nower days is the largest township in free state ,second largest township in south africa after soweto

Warrenton, Northern Cape Place in Northern Cape, South Africa

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Boddington, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Boddington is a town and shire in the Peel region of Western Australia, located 120 kilometres (75 mi) south-east of Perth. The town sits on the road from Pinjarra to Williams on the Hotham River.

Cavalcante Municipality in Central-West, Brazil

Cavalcante is a town located in the northern state of Goiás, Brazil. It used to be a big gold producer during the colonial times, but today Cavalcante is more known by its natural beauties, rivers and waterfalls. It is home to a big number of Quilombos, communities of descendants of African-Brazilians who managed to escape from slavery.

El Oro de Hidalgo Town & Municipality in State of Mexico, Mexico

The name El Oro de Hidalgo, is not from Nahuatl, like most other municipality names in the state, but from Spanish, and simply means "the gold." It has subsequently been given an alternative Nahuatl name of "Teocuitlatl," meaning "sacred excrement," referring to gold. Its seal, in the form of an Aztec glyph, contains elements referring to gold and to caves, of which there are many in the municipality. The municipality is located in the northwest of the State of Mexico, 96 km from the state capital of Toluca, and is bounded by the municipalities of Temascalcingo to the north, Jocotitlán to the east, San Felipe del Progreso and San José del Rincón to the south, and by the state of Michoacán to the west. As of 2005, the municipal seat with the formal name of El Oro de Hidalgo had a population of 5,797, and the municipality of El Oro had a population of 31,847. While it made its name as a major gold and silver mining town from the 17th to the early 20th centuries, the mines have since been tapped out and the town is turning to tourism for economic development.

Sand River (Free State) river in the Free State, South Africa

The Sand River is a river in the Free State, South Africa. It is located close to Welkom and Virginia in the gold mining center of the Free State. Its source is located close to Tweefontein NW of Ficksburg not far from the South Africa/Lesotho border, at 28°40′49″S27°41′23″E. This river is famous because of the historical Sand River Convention, an important event in South African history.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Sum of the Main Places Virginia and Meloding from Census 2011.
  2. Wagener, F (1997). "The Merriespruit slimes dam failure: Overview and lessons learnt". SAICE Journal. 39 (3): 11–15.
  3. "Virginia Website". Archived from the original on 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2008-10-24.