PLATINUM ELEMENTS

The platinum group metals (PGMs) are six metallic elements that have similar physical and chemical properties and tend to occur together in the same mineral deposits. The PGM consists of: palladium, platinum, iridium, osmium, rhodium, and ruthenium. Until recently, platinum was the most well-known because of its application in fine jewelry. However, palladium is the precious metal most making today’s headlines.

 

Palladium is a member of the platinum group of metals (PGMs). Considered a "white metal" because of its light colour, palladium’s distinctive properties include resistance to chemical attack, excellent high-temperature characteristics, and stable electrical properties. The metal is used in electronic components, jewelry, and surgical instruments.

Sample of Palladium in Seruwila

Palladium is in high demand from the automotive industry as it is an essential component of catalytic converters. The amount of the metal produced in 2019 is forecast to be below global demand for the eighth year in a row. Prices for palladium have surged to at $2500/ounce; the mineral is now more valuable than gold. 

Global primary refined palladium production totalled around 7.5 million ounces, or approximately 210 tons, in 2019. The palladium market is currently dependent upon a few large producers in Russia (Norilsk Nickel) and South Africa (Anglo Platinum, Sibanye-Stillwater, Impala Platinum).

Platinum group metals, global uses, 2018

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