Journal Archive

Platinum Metals Rev., 1980, 24, (2), 63

A Possible New Mining Area for Rustenburg

The major commercial platinum metals deposits in South Africa occur in the enormous geological formation known as the Bushveld Igneous Complex. Since their discovery in the 1920’s these deposits have become increasingly important and they now form the principal source of platinum metals for the Western World. In addition these are the only deposits primarily worked for platinum, thus the mines located on them are able to respond most rapidly to an increase in demand for the metal.

Continuing its exploration of the Bushveld Igneous Complex as part of its evaluation of possible future mining areas, Rustenburg Platinum Mines reports that particular emphasis is being placed on the so-called Merensky Platreef of the Potgietersrust district that was originally mined in the 1920’s. Prospecting results to date indicate that this area has the potential for supporting a major new platinum, nickel and copper mine.

Indications are that this wide ore-body might be exploitable by open-cast methods at working costs below those of conventional underground mining, but much work remains to be done in evaluating this deposit, particularly as its metallurgical characteristics differ from those of the deposits mined in current operations.

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