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The geologist and explorer Dr. Carl Mauch first recorded the Great Dyke in 1867, but it was not until around 1918 that the presence of platinum, along with nickel and copper, was noted in the rocks of the Great Dyke.

The 2.6 billion-year-old Great Dyke is a sinuous, layered, mafic-ultramafic intrusion, which is 550km long with a width ranging between 4km and 11km.

The Great Dyke consists of four geological complexes (from north to south) - Musengezi, Hartley, Selukwe, and Wedza. The Hartley Complex is by far the largest and contains approximately 80% of Zimbabwe's total PGM resources. The Hartley Complex is some 90km in length and is comparable in size to the western lobe of the Bushveld Igneous Complex in South Africa, the source of most of the world's PGM production.

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