Russia and SA aim to boost PGMs – by ANDRE JANSE VAN VUUREN AND YULIYA FEDORINOVA (Bloomberg/Business Day Live – November 13, 2014)

RUSSIA and SA will next year invite platinum group metal producers and users for talks as the countries seek ways to support falling prices.

The two nations, holding about 80% of the world’s reserves of the metals, met last Thursday in Pretoria “to collaborate on technology development and jointly exploring new applications for the metal” to grow demand, Phuti Mabelebele, a spokeswoman for SA’s mines ministry, said on Wednesday in an e-mailed response to questions.

The parties agreed to arrange a conference in the second half of next year to which they would invite mining companies, traders and consumers to “jointly consider appropriate options to achieve stability and sustainable growth”.

Platinum prices have tumbled more than 20% since Russia and SA said in March last year that they were looking for ways to buoy the market. Palladium gained about 8% in that period. SA mines about 70% of the world’s platinum and Russia 40% of its palladium.

The countries would meet for separate talks about the issue in the first quarter of next year in Russia, Ms Mabelebele said.

The largest producers, including Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin, met in Johannesburg on Wednesday to discuss ways of preventing illegal sales of precious metals, Norilsk Nickel said in a statement on its website. Norilsk is the world’s largest palladium producer.

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