Australian English, English, Dutch, Low GermanShow more Related to Australian English reef lode or vein of auriferous quartz, transferred use of general English reef narrow ridge or chain of rocks lying at or near the surface of the water, from Dutch or Low German rif rib, ridge.
1.Geology.In a mine, that rock which surrounds the lode or vein, but which is itself not gold- or diamond-bearing. Also attributive.
1872C.A. PaytonDiamond Diggings 25There is a reef of rock and shale running round nearly all the rich tracts of ground.
1882J. NixonAmong Boers 159The diamondiferous area in each is rigidly marked out by the surrounding reef.
1886J. NobleCape of G.H.: Off. Handbk 188The encasing rock of the Mine, or the ‘Reef,’ as the diggers called it, being exposed by the removal of the diamondiferous ground, began to disintegrate.
1893T. ReunertDiamonds & Gold 21The surface shales and basalt surrounding the pipes are called ‘Reef’...The reef troubles..more than once threatened to involve the whole mine in ruin.
1897F.R. StathamS. Afr. as It Is 191A heavy fall of ‘reef’ might stop the working of two or three companies at once.
1923B. RonanForty S. Afr. Yrs 69A company called, I think, the White Horse Syndicate..had discovered a reef, suspected of being gold-bearing.
1933W.H.S. BellBygone Days 131The reef at surface was oxidised and of a reddish colour.
1946S. CloeteAfr. Portraits 183Began to work what they knew to be a minor reef while they searched for the mother lode.
1959L. LongmoreDispossessed 13In an eighty-mile-long belt stretching east and west of Johannesburg lie the conglomerate ‘reefs’ of the Witwatersrand geological system.
1964R. Crisp inBest of S. Afr. Short Stories (1991) 51‘I tell you it’s gold! You think I can’t tell the difference by now?...’ ‘Well, I’ve never seen this amount in reef before’...He made a careful selection of some of the more promising bits of reef and placed them in the curve of the share.
1972S. LynneGlittering Gold 31The reef is a layer of rock with rounded pebbles in beds of fine-grained rock.
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