Geological history

The mining of the South African diamond started in the 1860s. Thousands of fortune seekers from around the world flocked to Cape Town, the capital of the British governed Cape colony, before undertaking the 1500 km trek north of the arid western and Northern Cape to the mining town of Kimberly.

In the 1920s, geologist Hans Merensky discovered in the Rustenburg valley the surface out crop of arguably the world's greatest ore body, known as the Bushveld Igneous Complex. In particular, substantial reserves of Platinum Group Metals (PGMSs) such as platinum, ferrochrome, rhodium and palladium were discovered on land owned by RBN.

Over the next 70 years, various attempts were made by the governments of the day, aided and assisted by the major mining companies, to dispossess RBN of their land rights. All were ultimately unsuccessful and the mining companies thereafter agreed to pay royalties to the RBN in exchange for the right to mine on RBN land.

© 2012 Royal Bafokeng Nation. Created by Thinkshoppe.
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