The Tharisa Mine is located on the south-western limb of the Bushveld Complex. It is located approximately 95 kilometres north-west of Johannesburg and 35 kilometres east of Rustenburg, and is supported by well-developed infrastructure.
According to Coffey Mining, the Bushveld Complex contains 56% of the world’s known PGM resources and over 68% of the world’s total economically viable chromite reserves. The mining rights held in respect of the Tharisa Mine cover an area of approximately 5,516 hectares on the farms 342 JQ and Rooikoppies 297 JQ in the Marikana district. The Tharisa Mine has a deposit with an outcrop strike length of approximately five kilometres across the 342 JQ farm.
The Tharisa Mine is underlain by four principal mineral-rich layers, known as the Middle Group Chromitite layers. From the outcrop the layers dip to the north across the remainder of 342 JQ and into Rooikoppies at an angle of approximately 12 to 15 degrees to a depth of over 1,000 metres. The Middle Group Chromitite Layers are initially capable of being mined with open pit mining of 20 years, requiring underground mining for 40 years as the layers dip away to the north.