The Bushveld Complex is world renowned as the largest primary source of platinum group metals. It is a 2 billion year-old igneous intrusion with outcrop extremities approximately 450km east-west and 300km north-south, with a thickness of between 7 and 9 km. The complex comprises an array of diverse igneous rocks from plutonic to volcanic, with a range in composition from ultramafic to felsic, with the lateral persistence and regularity of its layers an overwhelming characteristic.
The Rustenburg Layered Suite, in which both the Merensky Reef and the UG2 Chromitite Layer are found, comprises a well-layered ultramafic to mafic succession. These two horizons are exploited for platinum group metals and base metals. The PGMs - platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium and iridium - are recovered along with small amounts of gold, and quantities of associated nickel, copper and cobalt. The Bushveld Complex is also host to the largest resources of chromium and vanadium in the world.