Archive | Platinum Group Metals

Platinum giant wants to create new battery to replace cobalt, nickel demand – by Rupert Rowling and Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – August 14, 2019)

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG — The world’s top platinum and palladium supplier has an answer to the electric-car boom that may pose a long-term threat to its biggest market: invent a new battery.

Anglo American Platinum wants to develop a lithium battery that uses platinum-group metals instead of cobalt and nickel. The aim is to create a new multi-billion dollar source of demand for the metals as electric vehicles reduce the need for traditional fuel autocatalysts.

Platinum miners have good reason to be worried. Electric-car sales are forecast to reach 56 million by 2040, making up about 57 percent of the overall car market versus 2 percent now, according to Bloomberg. Continue Reading →

Platinum Giants Bolster Positions Before Wage Talks Begin – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg/Yahoo – July 8, 2019)

(Bloomberg) — When the world’s biggest platinum miners sit down to hammer out a wage deal with one of South Africa’s most militant labor unions this week, they’ll hold two potentially winning cards in reserve: the cash and metal stockpiles to endure a strike.

Those buffers may prove crucial as Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Sibanye Gold Ltd. meet with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union on successive days from July 9.

While the producers will be conscious that AMCU led the country’s longest ever platinum mining strike in 2014, none can meet its demand for a pay increase of as much as 48% without undermining their businesses. Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay junior miner zeros in on platinum, palladium – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 3, 2019)

Benton Resources swings deal on two high-grade properties in northwest

A Thunder Bay gold exploration company is picking up two high-grade platinum group metals (PGM) properties, west of the city.

In two separate deals, Benton Resources announced July 2 of its impending acquisition of the Escape Lake Discovery from Rio Tinto Exploration Canada for $6 million, and the Thunder Bay North deposit from Australia’s Panoramic Resources for $9 million.

The two properties are 60 kilometres south of North American Palladium’s (NAP) Lac des Iles Mine and 10 kilometres east of NAP’s Sunday Lake property. The acquisitions should be finalized within the next two to three months. Continue Reading →

The Biggest Winner From a Rise in Precious Metals – by Adelaide Changole (Bloomberg News – June 19, 2019)

The world’s best-performing precious-metals stock is up almost 90% this year, and there are signs the rally could run even further.

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. has outpaced 87 global peers with a market value of at least $1 billion in 2019, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The South African miner has benefited from surging palladium and rhodium prices, along with any weakness in the local currency, which bolsters its income from sales of dollar-based metals.

“The rally in palladium has been a big contributor,” coupled with a weaker rand, said Henre Herselman, a derivatives trader at Johannesburg-based Anchor Private Clients. Palladium, up 60% since August, makes a 30% contribution to Impala’s earnings, he said. The rand has dropped 5.4% against the dollar in 12 months. Continue Reading →

Biggest Union Kicks Off Platinum Talks With 48% Wage Demand – by Paul Burkhardt (Bloomberg News – June 14, 2019)

(Bloomberg) — The biggest union in South Africa’s platinum industry demanded wage increases of as much as 48% from producers in the world’s top supplier of the metal, setting the stage for a tough fight in upcoming pay talks.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union wants minimum basic pay of 17,000 rand ($1,146) a month, President Joseph Mathunjwa said Friday. That compares with about 11,500 rand currently earned by the lowest-paid workers.

Key Insights

The opening salvo — issued to companies including Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Sibanye Gold Ltd., and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. — represents a substantial step up from the labor group’s years-long rallying cry for “a living wage” of at least 12,500 rand a month. Continue Reading →

World’s Top Platinum Miners Brace for ‘Substantial’ Wage Demands – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – June 13, 2019)

South African platinum producers are preparing for significant wage demands as workers eye windfall earnings from a rally in metal prices.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union is meeting its members across the country’s so-called Platinum Belt this week, before presenting demands on Friday to seven producers, including Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Sibanye Gold Ltd., and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., Secretary General Jeffrey Mphahlele said.

The largest and most militant labor organization in the industry is aware that higher palladium and rhodium prices, plus a weaker rand, have boosted miners’ profits.

“Companies are performing well and we are confident they can accommodate our demands,” Mphahlele said. “Industry has been experiencing a boom in past years but nothing came to the workers.” Continue Reading →

Lonmin Investors Back Sibanye Deal to Create a Platinum Giant – by Felix Njini and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – May 28, 2019)

Lonmin Plc investors backed the platinum producer’s takeover by Sibanye Gold Ltd., bringing to an end a company that was once part of a business empire synonymous with British capitalism in Africa.

Sibanye’s all-share takeover was backed by 99% of votes cast at a meeting in London, passing the required threshold of 75%. The vote is a triumph for Sibanye Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman, a prolific deal-maker who faced investor concerns that his offer undervalues Lonmin’s assets. Sibanye shareholders approved the deal earlier in the day.

Froneman, who had already seen off a challenge to the deal from Lonmin’s biggest labor union, will gain access to his rival’s processing facilities and some of the lowest-cost shafts in the industry. Continue Reading →

Army Puts Backers Off Multibillion-Dollar Zimbabwe Platinum Mine – by Felix Njini, Antony Sguazzin and Loni Prinsloo (Bloomberg News – May 15, 2019)

A plan to build Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum mine at a cost of about $4 billion is floundering because a military stake in the project has deterred potential backers, according to people familiar with the funding discussions.

The African Export-Import Bank has the mandate to raise money for the mine, a joint venture between Russian and Zimbabwean investors. While the bank provided $192 million of its own funds, meetings in the past year with investors including South Africa’s Public Investment Corp., the continent’s biggest fund manager, failed to bring additional commitments, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

Zimbabwe has the world’s third-largest reserves of platinum, palladium and related metals such as rhodium — which typically occur together — after South Africa and Russia. President Emmerson Mnangagwa is trying to lure investment to the country to help rebuild the economy, devastated during the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe. Continue Reading →

Platinum Miners Brace for Labor Clash in New Ramaphosa Test – by Felix Njini and Paul Burkhardt (Bloomberg News – May 14, 2019)

When the world’s biggest platinum miners sit down with labor unions this month to negotiate a three-year wage deal, it could prove an early test of Cyril Ramaphosa’s new presidency in South Africa.

An amicable outcome will bolster Ramaphosa — the former mine union leader and one-time platinum company investor — as he seeks to lure foreign investors. However, tensions are fraught on both sides and there are fears the labor unions will go on strike, which could send platinum prices soaring.

“Ramaphosa’s key priority is to send a positive signal on reforming the economy, but there will be high levels of instability after the election,” said Andre Duvenhage, professor of politics at North West University. “The platinum belt is probably the most volatile environment in South Africa.” Khusela Diko, a spokeswoman for Ramaphosa, declined to comment. Continue Reading →

Palladium’s price gap over platinum needs to shrink – Nornickel (Reuters/ – May 13, 2019)

LONDON – The price gap between palladium and its sister metal platinum needs to shrink as number one platinum producer South Africa requires a higher price for the metal to keep investing in new supply, Russia’s Norilsk Nickel said.

Norilsk is the number one producer of palladium, accounting for more than 40% of global output, and is also a leading supplier of platinum. Both metals are used to curb harmful emissions from cars.

While palladium prices have soared by more than a third in the last five years, platinum has slumped by more than 40%. It is now around $490 an ounce cheaper than palladium, against an average premium over the last 30 years of $435. Continue Reading →

Platinum seen contributing as much to South Africa’s economy as gold did in the 20th century – by Natasha Odendaal ( – May 3, 2019)

With the too-high economic cost of a lost opportunity looming, immediate measures are required to assist the platinum group metals (PGMs) mining sector to improve its viability and preserve employment.

This is the intent behind the industry’s new South African National Platinum Strategy, with its most optimistic scenario the creation of more than one-million jobs and a contribution of R8.2-trillion to South Africa’s economy by 2050.

“Platinum . . . can play the role that gold played in helping to develop South Africa into the most [advanced] country in Africa,” says Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter, noting that the platinum treasure trove could enable South Africa to regain its position as the undisputed leading country in Africa going forward. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe attracts two new investors to develop platinum mining projects (Reuters U.S. – April 17, 2019)

MHONDORO-NGEZI, Zimbabwe (Reuters) – Zimbabwe will in coming weeks name two new investors who will develop separate platinum mining projects west of the capital as the country ramps up mining output in an attempt to ease a severe dollar shortage, the mines minister said on Wednesday

The southern African nation has the second largest platinum deposits after South Africa and hopes to transform its economy by boosting investment in the mining sector.

Winston Chitando said the two investors would be confirmed in the next few weeks, joining a sector where Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum already operate. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Nickel, Russian Platinum ready to invest $3.8 bln in Arctic Palladium project ( – April 10, 2019)

The project will create about 8,000 jobs in the north of the region

ST.PETERSBURG, April 10. /TASS/. Norilsk Nickel and Russian Platinum may invest more than 250 bln rubles ($3.8 bln) in the Arctic Palladium project, Vice-President of Norilsk Nickel Dmitry Pristanskov told TASS on the sidelines of the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg.

According to him, the project involves the development of several platinum-group metal deposits on Taimyr Peninsula (north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory) and investments arte to be made before 2033.

In February 2018, Norilsk Nickel and businessman Musa Bazhaev’s Russian Platinum signed an agreement on strategic partnership, involving the creation of a joint venture for the further development of ore deposits of the Norilsk industrial region. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-Zimbabwe mulls ‘use it or lose it’ approach to mining rights – by Tiisetso Motsoeneng (Reuters Africa – April 10, 2019)

JOHANNESBURG, April 10 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe may withdraw mining rights from companies that take too long to dig for minerals, the deputy mines minister said on Wednesday, part of efforts to lift output in a sector vital to the country’s economic revival.

Zimbabwe sits on the second-largest known platinum deposits after neighbouring South Africa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa is keen to revive mining after years of reticence by foreign investors during the Robert Mugabe administration.

Speaking to investors and executives at a mining conference in Johannesburg, Polite Kambamura said details of the so-called “use it or lose it” approach to mining policy would be made available in due course. Continue Reading →

The Future Looks Bright For Palladium Prices – Platinum Group Metals CEO – by Neils Christensen (Kitco News – April 3, 2019)

(Kitco News) – Palladium prices have fallen sharply from last month’s record highs, but the metal’s long-term potential will continue to drive prices higher for years, amid an economic downturn, according to one mining executive.

In a recent interview with Kitco News, Michael Jones, president and CEO of Platinum Group Metals (NYSE: PLG TSX: PLG), said that his company continues to move forward with the development of its South African Waterberg PGM project as he sees further growth potential for palladium.

Jone’s comments come as palladium prices have fallen nearly 13% from March’s historic highs. June palladium futures last traded at $1,376.30 an ounce. Continue Reading →