Roger Scoon

Distinguished Alumni Awardee,Roger Scoon
Distinguished Alumni Awardee,Roger Scoon

Dr Roger Scoon is a researcher, author and an internationally-recognised authority on the Bushveld Complex of South Africa and its contained ore deposits of platinum, chromium, and vanadium. He was born in Bristol, England and grew up in a rural village in north Somerset. He obtained his Bachelors (1976) and Masters (1978) degrees from the Department of Mineral Exploitation at University College, Cardiff. Scoon went on to study for a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geology at Rhodes University under the supervision of the late Professor Hugh Eales and obtained it in 1985. He worked in Zambia for three years as a mine geologist.

Scoon is a fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa, Society of Economic Geologists and Geological Society of London. He has written two books namely ‘The Geotraveller: Geology of Famous Geosites and Areas of Historical Interests’ and ‘Geology of National Parks of central/southern Kenya and northern Tanzania’. Scoon has also published 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals and books.     

A doctorate from Rhodes University unleashed Scoon’s life-time passion for the platinum and chromite deposits of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. Between 1978 and 2000, Scoon initiated and led the exploration projects in the Bushveld Complex. One of his most successful exploration projects led to the establishment of the Marula Platinum Mine on the Winnaarshoek. Scoon has retained a close relationship with Impala Platinum, the operator of the mine. He continues to undertake geological research projects at Winnaarshoek with drill core samples being provided to staff and students at Rhodes University. 

Since 2010, Scoon has developed an interest in geoheritage and geotravel. He has initiated and produced a series of articles for his own book named ‘The Geotraveller’. The Geotraveller provides short but high quality and well-illustrated articles on areas of both geological and historical interest to the Geological Society of South Africa. The articles are published in the Geobulletin in which Scoon has achieved an unbroken run of 46 contributions. 

Scoon’s passion for the Bushveld complex extends beyond his written research and publications on the topic. In 2007 and 2010, Scoon and his colleague Dr Andrew Mitchell initiated and presented workshops on the Bushveld Complex to the Geological Society of South Africa. The workshops were attended by more than 160 delegates. The workshops included well-planned and informative field trips. Scoon has also led several international trips to the Eastern Limb, including the 15th International Geocongress in 2015. 

Scoon continues to do ongoing research on the platinum and chromium deposits of the Bushveld Complex which is partly funded by Rhodes University. He is finalising a third book with local publishers which will serve as a popular style guide to the national parks of East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the Virunga Mountains). Scoon has also established a non-profit organisation directed at promoting geotourism in East Africa including training workshops to assist professional guides and rangers.