Archive | Platinum Group Metals

Battle to Keep Lonmin Platinum Deal Alive Hinges on the Rand – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – March 9, 2018)

(Bloomberg) — When Lonmin Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben Magara announced in December that Sibanye Gold Ltd. had agreed to buy the platinum miner, he was visibly relieved. He can’t relax just yet.

To keep the deal alive, Lonmin should avoid burning cash by the time of shareholder votes on the purchase later this year, according to Sibanye.

That may be a tough ask for a company that’s been forced to seek covenant waivers from lenders and has struggled through years of losses, especially as a recently strengthened rand adds further pressure. Continue Reading →

Palladium dubbed ‘unobtainium’, rhodium ‘next palladium’ – by Martin Creamer ( – March 7, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG ( – While diesel demonisation continues to the detriment of platinum, several key steps that will benefit platinum are poised to be taken in the next 18 to 24 months.

The first of these key steps is the substitution of platinum for palladium in gasoline systems, against the backdrop of palladium being dubbed ‘unobtainium’ because of its growing scarcity.

“They’re struggling with palladium availability and certainly, in our conversations with coaters and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the predominant conversation is can you secure increasing quantities of palladium and the short answer is ‘no, not right now’,” Impala Platinum (Implats) group executive: refining and marketing Paul Finney said in response to Mining Weekly Online during a media roundtable. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-Zimbabwe has potential to meet 20 pct of global lithium demand – by Alfonce Mbizwo (Reuters U.S. – February 28, 2018)

HARARE, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe has the potential to supply 20 percent of the world’s lithium, the mines minister from Africa’s top producer of the alkali metal used in batteries for electric vehicles said on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe is keen to attract capital to its mining sector after the ousting last year of former president Robert Mugabe after almost four decades in power and is pushing lithium as a major draw for investors.

“We believe we have the potential to actually account for 20 percent of global demand when all known lithium resources are being exploited,” Winston Chitando told a mining investment conference in the capital, Harare. Continue Reading →

The World’s Cobalt Supply Is In Jeopardy – by Frank Holmes (Forbes Magazine – February 27, 2018)

Disney’s Black Panther is in theaters right now, breaking all kinds of box office records and wowing audiences. The film features a fictional, highly-advanced African country known as Wakanda, whose vast wealth and prosperity are derived almost exclusively from the mining of a rare, fantastical metal called vibranium.

In its own colorful way, Black Panther does an excellent job dramatizing mining’s important role in supplying the world with much-needed raw materials. Vibranium is the basis for everything in the film, from the title character’s flashy superhero suit to Wakanda’s otherworldly infrastructure and vehicles, to its futuristic medicine and weaponry.

Like Wakanda, the real Africa is rich in minerals and metals, many of them extremely valuable. Think platinum and palladium in South Africa, diamonds in Botswana, copper in Zambia and cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Continue Reading →

Platinum price crashes through $1,000 after German diesel ban – by Frik Els ( – February 27, 2018)

Platinum group metals were the hardest hit on generally weak precious metals markets Tuesday after a German court ruled that cities in Europe’s largest economy and world’s fourth largest automaker have the right to ban diesel cars.

The price of platinum were back in triple digit territory on New York futures markets on Wednesday falling 2% to a low of $983 an ounce. Palladium was also weaker at $1,033 an ounce as it continues to retreat from record highs of $1,138 an ounce hit in January.

“We’re witnessing the creeping death of diesel,” Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany told Bloomberg News. Continue Reading →

Unloved Platinum Stocks Show Promise for $45 Billion Manager – by Neo Khanyile (Bloomberg News – February 26, 2018)

Some platinum stocks are looking attractive again as oversupply that depressed prices for years subsides, said Allan Gray, the South African money manager that oversees the equivalent of about $45 billion.

Companies that Allan Gray has invested in include world number-two producer Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd., the best-performing stock in the sector this year in Johannesburg, analyst Rory Kutisker-Jacobson said by phone from Cape Town. Impala said Feb. 21 that the money manager had increased its stake to 20 percent.

South African miners, which account for about 70 percent of the world’s known primary platinum resources, have cut back on spending, gradually erasing an excess of the metal, according to Kutisker-Jacobson. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe mulls scrapping majority black ownership on diamond, platinum sectors – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – January 23, 2018)

Zimbabwe’s new government may soon scrap a 51% requirement of local ownership for foreign investors in the diamond and platinum sectors, in an effort to re-engage international lenders, curb spending and attract investors to revive the country’s battered economy.

The so-called indigenization laws intended to increase black Zimbabweans’ share of the economy, but were opaque and open to abuse.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took the post in November after Robert Mugabe quit under pressure from the military, had already said he would revoke such rule on all other minerals, except from diamonds and platinum. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe May End Local Ownership Rule on Platinum, Diamonds – by Antony Sguazzin and Godfrey Marawanyika (Bloomberg News – January 23, 2018)

Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-biggest platinum reserves, may lift a requirement that companies mining the metal or diamonds must be at least 51 percent owned by black citizens of the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa, who became president in November after Robert Mugabe resigned under pressure from the military, has announced that the ownership requirement on all other minerals will be abolished. The government needs to assess its platinum and diamond industries more carefully, he said.

“I only excluded diamonds and platinum for now. We do not have a real or deep-rooted or well-interrogated policy on diamonds or platinum,” the 75-year-old president said in an interview in his office in the capital, Harare, last week. “Down the line when we are satisfied that this can also go into the open basket we will do so.” Continue Reading →

Palladium risks tripping up as prices stampede higher – by Jan Harvey(Reuters U.S. – January 16, 2018)

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Palladium, the hottest property in the precious metals deck last year, is tipped for a record performance in 2018 even among bearish forecasters, but the metal could become a victim of its own success.

The prospect of sharply higher prices could well prompt substitution of the metal for cheaper platinum in autocatalysts and higher recycling volume.

The metal has posted a string of deficits in recent years, fuelled by strong gains in autocatalyst demand. That helped send prices above $1,000 an ounce last year for the first time since 2001, and to a record $1,138 this week. Continue Reading →

Amplats reaches deal with S.African tribal leader in community fund row – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters Africa – January 9, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African tribal leader has agreed to a more transparent structure for a 175 million rand ($14 million) community trust funded by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), a move that aims to curb unrest around the firm’s most profitable mine.

The changes relate to the Mapela Trust, which was set up to fund development projects in communities around Amplats’ Mogalakwena operation, the world’s largest open-pit platinum mine and the Anglo American unit’s main cash spinner.

The structure of the fund has proved a flashpoint, with local communities saying the way cash was spent has not transparent and too much authority was given to the local chief, known as Kgoshi, to determine where money was invested. Continue Reading →

Precious Metals Outlook for 2018 – by Stefan Gleason (Lawrie On Gold – January 5, 2018)

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 “Dealer of the Year” in the United States by an independent global ratings group.

The first trading days of 2018 are confirming signs of renewed investor interest in the precious metals sector after a long period of malaise. Gold and silver markets entered the year with some stealth momentum after quietly posting gains late in 2017. Gold finished the year above $1,300/oz. – its best yearly close since 2012.

Over the past five years, the yellow metal has been basing out in a range between $1,050 and $1,400. A push above $1,400 later this year would therefore be significant. It would get momentum traders and mainstream financial reporters to take notice.

The alternative investing world was enthralled by Bitcoin in 2017. While we don’t expect a Bitcoin-like mania to take hold in precious metals in 2018, we do expect gold and silver markets to make some noise. Continue Reading →

Marilyn Monroe’s Wedding Ring Loses Its Shine – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – January 3, 2018)

Just as electric cars seem to be taking over, an element inextricably tied to the fortunes of the internal combustion engine is surging.

Palladium hit a 16-year high of $1,094.51 an ounce Tuesday and is 1.5 percent away from breaching its 2001 record of $1,110.50 an ounce, after doubling in price over the past two years. Having traded for a fifth of the cost of platinum as recently as 2009, palladium is now worth more than its sister metal’s $943.65 an ounce.

To understand what’s going on, it’s worth looking to the long shadow cast by Volkswagen AG’s diesel-testing scandal, and the growing toll of diesel emissions on European cities. Continue Reading →

South African dealmaker takes a punt on platinum – by Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume (Financial Times – January 1, 2018)

He is known in banking circles as Neal “the deal” Froneman, and for good reason.

Since 2015, the South Africa-born mining engineer has launched four takeover offers, turning Sibanye-Stillwater, the company he runs, into a major force in the precious metals market.

But Mr Froneman’s appetite is far from sated. In December, he made his boldest move yet, launching a £285m all-share offer for Lonmin, the London-listed miner on the brink of collapse.

If the deal is approved by regulators and shareholders, Sibanye will become the second-largest producer of platinum in the world, a remarkable result for a company that was formed only five years ago out of two unwanted gold mines spun off from South African producer Gold Fields. Continue Reading →

South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater to be No. 2 platinum miner with Lonmin buy – by Zandi Shabalala and Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – December 15, 2017)

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater (SGLJ.J) agreed to buy troubled miner Lonmin (LMI.L) (LONJ.J) for about 285 million pounds ($382 million) to create the world’s No. 2 platinum producer in a bid to ride out depressed prices for the metal.

Sibanye, whose CEO is called “Mr Fix It” for turning his firm from a spin-off with three old mines into a global precious metals player, said it would cut a third of Lonmin’s employees and deliver savings of about $112 million a year by 2021.

Lonmin, the world’s third biggest platinum producer, has burned through $1.6 billion in cash which was raised from investors since platinum prices plunged 60 percent from their peak in 2008. But it has still struggled to fund its mines. Continue Reading →

Sibanye-Stillwater deal consigns Lonmin to history – by Neil Hume and Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – December 14, 2017)

South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater has made a £285m all-stock offer for platinum producer Lonmin, signalling an end to a century-old company that is one of the world’s largest producers of the metal.

London-listed Lonmin has struggled to make money as the price of platinum dropped 45 per cent over the past five years.

Sibanye, an acquisitive South African company run by Neal Froneman, made an offer for Lonmin that will give shareholders 0.967 new Sibanye-Stillwater shares for each Lonmin share, implying a premium of 57 per cent to Wednesday’s closing price. Continue Reading →