Western Platinum

Producer in South Africa with commodities PGE, Gold, Copper, Nickel

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10079224
MRDS ID W028273
Record type Site
Current site name Western Platinum
Related records 10231826

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: 27.53478, -25.67996 (WGS84)
Elevation 1158
Relative position 27 KILOMETERS EAST OF THE TOWN OF RUSTENBURG
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Geographic areas

Country
South Africa

Commodities

Commodity Importance
PGE Primary
Gold Secondary
Copper Secondary
Nickel Secondary

Comments on the commodity information

  • PLATINUM GROUP METALS RECOVERED INCLUDE PLATINUM, PALLADIUM, RHODIUM, RUTHENIUM, IRIDIUM AND OSMIUM.

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Chromite Ore
Sperrylite Ore
Anorthosite Gangue
Chalcopyrite Unknown
Pentlandite Unknown
Pyrrhotite Unknown

Alteration

  • (Local) Surface And Near-Surface Alteration Of Feldspathic Material Only.

Analytical data

Result FLOTATION CONCENTRATE 455 GRAINS AVG: PERCENT, SPERRYLITE = 50.3, COOPERITE = 10.3, BRAGGITE = 6.8, KOTULSKITE = 8.1, MERENSKYITE = .2, MONCHEITE = 13, PT-FE ALLOY = 6.4, STIBIO-PALLADINITE = .4, LAURITE = .2. AVERAGE ANALYSIS OF WHOLE ROCK SAMPLES: PT = 3.73 PPM, PD = 1.64 PPM, IR = 0.041 PPM, AU = 0.455 PPM. THE HIGHEST PLATINOID VALUES ARE CONCENTRATED IN A PEGMATITE GENERALLY OCCURING AT THE BASE OF THE PYROXENITE.

Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 4
USGS model code 2b
Deposit model name Merensky Reef PGE

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Associated
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Mafic Intrusive Rock
    Rock unit name Merensky Reef, Bushveld Igneous Complex
    Rock description Merensky Reef, Bushveld Igneous Complex
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Neoproterozoic
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Neoproterozoic
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Neoproterozoic
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Pliocene
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Mafic Intrusive Rock
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Mafic Intrusive Rock > Gabbro

Nearby scientific data

(1) 27.53478, -25.67996

Geologic structures

Type Description Terms
Regional Inward-Dipping Cone-Like Structure; Folding And Faulting (Including Low-Angle Thrusting) Exists, But Are Of Minor Importance; Erosion, Peneplanation And Build-Up Of Younger Sediments Are Basic Criteria Regionally.
Local The Merensky Reef Is Extraordinarily Uniform As To Composition And Thickness. Faults And Folds, Locally, Are Almost Non-Existent. An Oxidized Zone Extends Down-Dip For An Average Of 200 Meters, Followed By Unaltered Sulfide Zones. The Hanging Wall Is Spotted Porite Underlain By Pseudo-Porphyritic Pyroxenitic Diallage-Norite, Feldspathic Pyroxenite, A Chrome-Rich Layer, And A Footwall Of Anorthositic Norite.

Ore body information

  • General form TABULAR/BLANKET
    Strike E-W
    Dip 9 DEG. N.
    Thickness 0.3M
    Depth to bottom 1372M
    Depth to top 500M

Controls for ore emplacement

  • The Various Components Of The Bushveld Igneous Complex Have Been Emplaced In Successive Eruptions As Sheet-Like Masses Into The Pretoria Series Volcanics (Transvaal System), And In Some Cases Into One Another, Dipping Inward Toward The Center Giving A Cone-Like Structure To The Complex As A Whole.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Producer
Commodity type Metallic
Deposit size Large
Significant No
Discovery year 1924
Discoverer Hans Merensky, D. Mckerrell & M. Weber.
Discovery method Ore-Mineral In Place
Year of first production 1971

Mining district

District name Rustenburg Platinum Field (Merensky Reef, Bushveld Igneous Complex)

Land status

Ownership category Private

Ownership information

  • Type Operator
    Owner Western Platinum Ltd.
  • Type Owner
    Owner Lonrho Ltd., Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd., And Others.

Production statistics

  • Year 1977
    Material ORE
    Accuracy Estimate
    Description Ap_Grade: ^0.103 Toz Platinum Group Metals/Ton (Approx.)
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Ore Platinum PGE 0g/mt
  • Year 1983
    Period 1971-1983
    Material ORE PGM
    Description Cp_Grade: ^0.103 Toz Pgm/Ton

Comments on the production information

  • WESTERN PLATINUM LIMITED (LONRHO LIMITED) DOES NOT PUBLISH ORE VALUES ANNUALLY. OF THE APPROXIMATE VALUE GIVEN ABOVE FOR THE PLATINUM GROUP METALS, HOWEVER, PLATINUM AVERAGES ABOUT 0.060 TOZ/TON, PALLADIUM 0.026 TOZ/TON, AND OTHERS ABOUT 0.017 TOZ/TON. NICKEL AVERAGES APPROXIMATELY 1.3 PERCENT. FIRST FULL YEAR OF PRODUCTION: 1971 . ; AS A RESULT OF THE COMMISSIONING OF THE NEW BASE METALS REFINERY AT THE MINE, PRODUCTION INCREASED IN 1986. ; WESTERN PLATINUM LIMITED (LONRHO LIMITED) DOES NOT PUBLISH ORE VALUES ANNUALLY. OF THE APPROXIMATE VALUE GIVEN ABOVE FOR THE PLATINUM GROUP METALS, HOWEVER, PLATINUM AVERAGES ABOUT 0.060 TOZ/TON. PALLADIUM 0.026 TOZ/TON. AND OTHERS ABOUT 0.017 TOZ/TON. NICKEL AVERAGES APPROXIMATELY 1.3 PERCENT.

Reserves and resources

  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1970
    Total resources 23,000,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    PGE PGE 3.203 g/mt PGE Major 1970

Comments on the workings information

  • SEE DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSIT COMMENTS. MINING METHODS ARE MODIFIED ROOM AND PILLAR AND "SCATTER" MINING, WITH UNDERGROUND BACKFILLING OF WASTE.

Comments on development

  • MILL.CAP: 0.2 MIL TOZ PGM/YR ; ECON.YEAR: 1974 ; ECON.COM: WESTERN PLATINUM MINES, CONCENTRATES AND PRODUCES A "WHITE" MATTE ON SITE (ABOUT 80.0 PERCENT NICKEL AND COPPER, AND ABOUT 0.15 PERCENT PRECIOUS METALS). THE MATTE IS SHIPPED IN DRUMS TO NIKKELVERK IN NORWAY (A SUBSIDIARY OF FALCONBRIDGE NICKEL MINES OF CANADA) FOR FURTHER TREATMENT. REFINED NICKEL AND COPPER ARE SOLD IN EUROPE, WHILE PGM AND GOLD CONCENTRATES ARE RETURNED (VIA AIR FREIGHT) TO SOUTH AFRICA FOR FINAL REFINING AT WESTERN PLATINUM'S PGM REFINERY AT BRAKPAN, TRANSVAAL. THIS COMPLEX PROCESSING AND MARKETING PROGRAM DEPENDS HEAVILY ON FAVORABLE COPPER, NICKEL AND PGM MARKET PRICES. A LONG RANGE ECONOMIC VIABILITY IS THEREFORE QUESTIONABLE.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS W028273

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    MINERAL RESOURCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, FIFTH EDITION, HANDBOOK 7 ; 1976

  • Deposit

    WORLD MINING; MAY 1970

  • Deposit

    PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE PLATINUM DEPOSITS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE RUSTENBURG DISTRICT, TRANSVAAL; DEPARTMENT OF MINES & INDUSTRIES, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY; WAGNER, P. A.; 1926 .

  • Deposit

    COERTZE, 1974, GEOLOGY OF BUSHVELD IGNEOUS COMPLEX: SOUTH AFRICA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY MEMOIR 66, P. 126.

  • Deposit

    BRYNARD & OTHERS, 1975, PLATINUM MINE NEAR MARIKANA, SOUTH AFRICA: SOC. OF ECON. GEOL. INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM, DENVER, COLO., PROGRAM, P. 4.

  • Deposit

    BRYNARD AND OTHERS, 1976, MINERALOGY OF THE WESTERN PLATINUM MINE, SOUTH AFRICA: ECONOMIC GEOL., V. 71, NO. 7, P. 1299.

  • Deposit

    STUMPFL AND TARKIAN, 1976, PLATINUM GENESIS: ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, V. 71, NO. 7.

  • Deposit

    BUTTERMAN, 1976, PLATINUM-GROUP METALS: U.S. DEPT. INTERIOR INT. MIN. YEARBOOK FOR 1974, V. 1.

  • Deposit

    LONRHO LIMITED, 1977, ANNUAL REPORT.

  • Deposit

    SOUTH AFRICAN MINING AND ENGINEERING JOURNAL,1973, MAY.

  • Deposit

    COAL, GOLD & BASE MINERALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA, 1974, AUGUST.

  • Deposit

    MINING ANNUAL REVIEW, 1974.

  • Production

    1977 PRODUCTION CALCULATED FROM FISCAL YEAR DATA PRESENTED IN LONRHO LIMITED ANNUAL REPORT.

  • Production

    1977 ( FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30 , 1977 ) AND INTERIM REPORT FOR PERIOD ENDING MARCH 31 , 1978.

  • Production

    DATA FROM OFFICIAL SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT (I.E. DEPARTMENT OF MINES, MINERALS BUREAU) ARE UNAVAILABLE.

  • Production

    1971/1972 DATA FROM SOUTH AFRICAN MINING & ENGINEERING JOURNAL, JANUARY 1975 .

  • Production

    1973/1976 DATA FROM AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG INDUSTRIAL OUTLOOK REPORTS.

  • Production

    WESTERN PLATINUM-VERBAL DISCUSSIONS;

  • Production

    WESTERN PLATINUM PRESS RELEASE;

  • Production

    WESTERN PLATINUM ANNUAL REPORT-1984;

  • Production

    WESTERN PLATINUM ANNUAL REPORT-1985;

  • Production

    WESTERN PLATINUM ANNUAL REPORT-1986;

  • Production

    WESTERN PLATINUM COMPANY-VERBAL DISCUSSIONS;

  • Production

    CONSULATE ESTIMATES. DATA FROM OFFICIAL SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT (I.E. DEPARTMENT OF MINES, MINERALS BUREAU) AND COMPANY ANNUAL REPORTS ARE UNAVAILABLE.

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit INFORMATION MERGED FROM RECORD NUMBER W028915 ; W028916 ; W033042 ; W033043 ; W033044 ; W033045 ; W055346 ; W055347 ; W055348
Deposit MAX. THICKNESS REFERS TO CURRENTLY RECOVERABLE PLATINUM GROUP METAL HORIZON (THICKNESS OF MERENSKY REEF, WITHIN WHICH HORIZON OCCURS: 1.2 METERS). DEPTH TO TOP IS FROM OUTCROP TO APPROXIMATE CURRENT MINING DEPTH. DEPTH TO BOTTOM IS MAX. DEPTH OF ORE ON NORTHERN BOUNDARY (DOWN DIP) UNDER LEASE
Deposit THIS RECORD INCLUDES DATA FROM DUPLICATE RECORD M046273 WHICH HAS BEEN DELETED FROM MRDS.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 01-JUN-1984 Sweetwood, Charles W. Department of State
Updater 01-MAY-1980 Sweetwood, Charles W. Department of State
Updater 01-MAY-1980 Sweetwood, Charles W. Department of State
Updater 01-JUN-1984 Mccarter, Lorna D Department of State
Updater 01-JUN-1984 Mccarter, Lorna D Department of State
Updater 01-JUL-1987 Mccarter, Lorna D. Department of State
Updater 01-JUL-1987 Mccarter, Lorna D. Department of State