The Bushveld Complex
|The Bushveld Complex, found in the northern part of South Africa, is the world s largest layered intrusion. The complex plays host to over half of the world s platinum, chromium, vanadium and refractory minerals.
The complex is dated at 2.06 Ga, and is situated in the northern part of South Africa (Figure 1). The intrusion is divided into four limbs - the northern, southern, eastern and western limbs (Figure 2).
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Geology of the Bushveld Complex
where Ol = Olivine
Opx = Orthopyroxene
Cr = Chromium
Plag = Plagioclase
Cpx = Clinopyroxene
Mgt = Magnetite
The chromitite seams in the Critical Zone are divided into the lower (LG), the middle (MG) and the upper groups (UG), with the LG6, UG1 and UG2 being of greatest economic importance.
The magnetite in the Upper Zone is rich in Vanadium.
The Merensky Reef is found between the Critical and the Main Zone, and is rich in Platinum Group Elements (PGE?s) - i.e. platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium.
McCarthy, T. & Rubidge, B. (2005). The Story Earth and Life. Struik, Cape Town. 333pp.
Eales, H.V. (2001). "A First Introduction to the Geology of the Bushveld Complex and those aspects of South African Geology that relate to it." Popular Geoscience Series, No. 2, Council for Geoscience, Pretoria, 84pp.