Contaminant release and transport in platinum tailings are poorly studied in literature. This study serves to characterise these processes. The tailings facility is located in Steelpoort, Mpumalanga, South Africa on Critical Zone rocks of the Rustenburg Layered Suite in The Bushveld Igneous Complex. Tailings material samples were collected by hand auger- and direct push probe drilling at specific locations to represent the different materials present in the tailings facility. Water samples were collected from monitoring boreholes as well as the Steelpoort River. The samples were analysed using XRD, XRF, ABA, NAG, Reflected Light Microscopy, Acid Leaching Tests and ICP scans. Using the collected data, a geochemical model was constructed for the interpretation of mineral phase dissolution and to trace the mineral phases releasing contaminants. Analysis-, test- and modelling results showed that alteration mineral phases formed within ten years in the tailings material and that the existing alteration phases viz. talc and chlorite, as well as sulphides, are the major contributors of contaminants. Elevated pH values as well as major cation and anion concentrations were found in the fluid discharging from the tailings as well as the in groundwater, with little to no heavy metals, which were traced directly to the chromite phase. This suggests that platinum tailings do not contribute to heavy metal contamination or acid rock drainage but may increase aquifer salinity and alkalinity. The flow through the tailings, underlying vadose zone and fractured rock aquifer was characterised using permeameter- and pumping tests. From the data collected, an unsaturated flow model was developed to characterise the flow through the tailings. From the model, discharge from the tailings was calculated to take place at 0.7m per decade into the underlying vadose zone with fracture flow in the aquifer ranging from 0.46-0.026m/d, as calculated from pumping test results. Contaminant migration into the Steelpoort River is possibly inhibited by the Dwarsriver Fault, based on the chemical data and hydraulic conductivities calculated. Therefore, groundwater is considered to be the major receptor in the system and groundwater users may be negatively impacted by increasing groundwater salinity and major ion concentrations.