Dr. Xolane Mhlanga

Postdoctoral research project: Controls on iron distribution in manganese deposits of the Postmasburg Manganese Field

Supervisor: Prof Hari Tsikos



Xolane (or “X”, as widely referred to by his friends) comes from the town of Kanyamazane in the scenically beautiful province of Mpumalanga in South Africa. He completed a BSc degree in 2012 at Rhodes University, with majors in Geology and Environmental Science. In 2013, he obtained his Honours degree in Geology, as part of which he carried out a project on small-scale ore-grade relationships in Hotazel manganese ore at Gloria mine in the Kalahari Manganese field. His PhD project was essentially a continuation of his earlier work, with emphasis on understanding the interplay between primary and diagenetic cycling of carbon in the Hotazel formation, through the combined use of mineral chemistry, stable isotope geochemistry and iron speciation techniques. His main extramural interest is sports, especially soccer.

PhD project title (completed)

A reappraisal of the origin of the Hotazel Fe-Mn Formation in an evolving early Earth system through the application of mineral-specific geochemistry, speciation techniques and stable isotope systematics.


Supervisor: Prof Hari Tsikos
Co-supervisor: Prof Timothy Lyons
Sponsor: ASSMANG Ltd.

Contact details

E-mail: Mhlangaxr@live.com;  X.mhlanga@ru.ac.za 
Cell: 0632568146 or 0763586827

PhD thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/10962/146123 

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2483-3889 

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/mhlangaxolanereginald/




  • Siahi, M., Tsikos, H., Rafuza, S., Oonk, P.B., Mhlanga, X.R., van Niekerk, D., Mason, P.R. and Harris, C., 2020. Insights into the processes and controls on the absolute abundance and distribution of manganese in Precambrian Iron Formations. Precambrian Research, p.105878.
  • Mhlanga, X.R., Tsikos, H., Lee, B., Rouxel, O., Boyce, A.E, Harris, C., and Lyons, T.W. (in prep) A review of the Palaeoproterozoic Hotazel Formation, South Africa: a unique Fe-Mn sedimentary succession at the dawn of the Great Oxidation Event. Earth Science Reviews.
  • Mhlanga, X.R., Tsikos, H., Oonk, P.B.H., Ntantiso, M., Lechte, M.A., Mason, P.R.D. and Lyons, T.W. (In prep) Paleoproterozoic Co-Mn redox evolution in the context of atmosphere oxygenation. Geology.

Conference proceedings


  • Mhlanga, X.R., Tsikos, H., Boyce, A. and Lyons, T.W., 2015. Primary Iron-and Manganese-Carbonate Deposition in the Palaeoproterozoic Hotazel Formation, South Africa, and Implications for the Great Oxidation Event. Abstract, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

  • Mhlanga X.R, Tsikos H, Lyons T.W, Rouxel O & Harris C., 2016. Reassessing processes of primary deposition and diagenesis of iron and manganese, using cm-scale variations in iron and carbon isotope ratios of the Palaeoproterozoic Hotazel Formation, South Africa. Abstract, 35th International Geological Congress, Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Mhlanga X.R, Tsikos H, Lee B, Rouxel O, Boyce A, Lyons TW., 2017, Massive marine Mn deposition in the Palaeoproterozoic heralds the Great Oxidation Event. Abstract, Geobiology Conference, Banff, Alberta, Canada.

  • Mhlanga X.R., Tsikos H, Oonk P, Mason P, Lee B & Lyons T., 2018, Marine Redox Evolution and Co-Mn Signals of the Great Oxidation Event. Abstract, Goldschmidt conference, Boston, USA.

  • Mhlanga, X.R, Tsikos, H, Lee, B.K., Lyons, T.W. and Boyce, A.,2018. Trace Element Evidence from the 2.4 Ga Hotazel Fe-Mn Formation, South Africa, Constrains Marine Redox Conditions at the Onset of the Great Oxidation Event. Abstract, AGU Fall Meeting, Washington DC, USA.

Last Modified: Fri, 02 Oct 2020 09:41:09 SAST