An emerging and increasingly pervasive school of thought is that large, long-lived and largely molten magma chambers are transient to non-existent in Earth’s history1–13. These ideas attempt to supplant the classical paradigm of the ‘big magma tank’ chambers in which the melt differentiates, is replenished, and occasionally feeds the overlying volcanoes14–23. The stratiform chromitites in the Bushveld Complex – the largest magmatic body in the Earth’s crust24 – however, offers strong contest to this shifting concept. Several chromitites in this complex occur as layers up to 2 metres in thickness and more than 400 kilometres in lateral extent, implying that chromitite-forming events were chamber-wide phenomena24–27. Field relations and microtextural data, specifically the relationship of 3D coordination number and grain size, indicate that the chromitites grew as a 3D framework of touching chromite grains directly at the chamber floor from a melt saturated in chromite only28–30. Mass-balance estimates dictate that a 1 to 4 km thick column of this melt26,31,32 is required to form each of these chromitite layers. Therefore, an enormous volume of melt (>1,00,000 km3)24,25 must have been involved in the generation of all the Bushveld chromitite layers, with half of this melt being expelled from the magma chamber24,26. We therefore argue that the very existence of thick and laterally extensive chromitite layers in the Bushveld and other layered intrusions strongly buttress the classical paradigm of ‘big magma tank’ chambers.