Archive | Platinum Group Metals

South Africa’s platinum miners, reeling from years of curtailed investments, take blow from coronavirus pandemic (South China Morning Post/Bloomberg – August 9, 2020)

https://www.scmp.com/

South Africa’s gold industry has been dying slowly for years. As the coronavirus undercuts the already fragile case for investment, its platinum mines may be next.

Beset by power and water shortages, alongside whipsawing government policies, South African producers have cut spending over the past decade on mines responsible for 75 per cent of global platinum supply.

The virus is accelerating that trend, damping demand for the catalytic converters that are the largest users of the metal, while stimulus packages push carmakers to speed a shift to electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Pandemic Helps Russia Tighten Its Grip on a Key Strategic Metal – by Yuliya Fedorinova and Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – July 2, 2020)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — As the coronavirus pandemic pummeled demand from key customers in the auto industry, Russia’s biggest mining company quietly tightened its grip on the palladium market.

MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC was already the No. 1 miner of the metal used in autocatalysts, but the crisis has allowed it to gain market share. That’s because Nornickel’s Russian operations have barely missed a beat, while its main rivals in South Africa are struggling to ramp up production after shuttering mines during a national virus lockdown.

“Norilsk Nickel has always been considered as the last company to die,” said Artem Bagdasaryan, an analyst at BCS Global Markets. “The pandemic only highlights it.” Continue Reading →

Electrum fund boosts stake in Nickel Creek Platinum – by Carl A. Williams (Northern Miner – June 9, 2020)

Global mining news

The Electrum Strategic Opportunities Fund has increased its interest in Nickel Creek Platinum (TSX: NPC; US-OTC: NCPCF) to 33.88% following the closure of the second tranche of a private placement.

The mining-focussed private equity fund based in New York is part of the Electrum Group founded by billionaire Thomas Kaplan.

The fund purchased nearly 21 million units at a price of 5¢ per unit, raising $1.1 million of Nickel Creek’s total equity raise of $1.53 million. Continue Reading →

Platinum giant to enter battery space in ‘due course’ – by Michael McCrae (Kitco.com – May 27, 2020)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) – Despite the rise of electric vehicles, platinum group metals still have a good 10 years in front of them, and an entry by the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, Sibanye-Stillwater, into the battery space is planned in “due course,” said CEO Neal Froneman. Froneman spoke to Kitco last week.

Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE:SBSW) timed its entry into the platinum group metals space perfectly by picking up discounted platinum assets in the mid-2010s.

Sibanye-Stillwater, which was spun out of South Africa’s Gold Fields in 2013, picked up Anglo American’s Rustenburg for $95 million in 2015. It also purchased South African platinum miner Aquarius for $294 million 2016. Continue Reading →

Junior miner dives into Thunder Bay-area platinum, palladium project: Clean Air Metals kicks off two years of exploration drilling near Lac des Iles Mine – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 25, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

A rechristened junior mining company is taking its first stab at exploring for platinum and palladium on a property halfway between Thunder Bay and the Lac des Iles Mine.

Clean Air Metals began its first round of drilling last week on its Thunder Bay North Project, roughly the same time the Thunder Bay company began trading for the first time on the TSX Venture Exchange.

The Thunder Bay North Project is located 60 kilometres southeast of Impala’s Lac Des Iles Mine and 40 kilometres northeast of the city. Highway 527 cuts through the western portion of the project area. Continue Reading →

Brace for volatility as virus grips platinum, palladium markets: JM – by Peter Hobson (Reuters U.S. – May 18, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Platinum and palladium markets will be tight this year as the coronavirus pandemic hammers supply and demand, materials maker Johnson Matthey said on Monday, declining to give full-year forecasts and saying prices will be erratic.

Production of the metals, used to reduce vehicle emissions, and their consumption by auto makers could fall by around one-fifth in 2020 but the course of the virus is too uncertain to give precise numbers, the company said in a report.

Temporary dislocations as the new coronavirus impacts different places at different times could have the biggest influence on prices, Rupen Raithatha, Johnson Matthey’s director of market research, said. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Can coronavirus pandemic tame the wild palladium market? – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – April 20, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) – COVID-19 has roiled industrial metal markets with lockdowns around the world eviscerating demand, forcing mine closures and upending supply chains.

It’s been a wild ride for the likes of copper, aluminium and zinc, all of which have plunged to multi-year lows.

So too for the precious metals complex with gold slumping in early March before rocketing to seven-year highs earlier this month as investors sought shelter from the macro storms. Continue Reading →

Lac des Iles Mine on lockdown – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – April 10, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Impala Canada has placed its Lac des Iles mine (LDI) site into quarantine and will be shutting down operations for an undetermined period.

After a visit by Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) officials to the remote property, 90 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, late on April 9, the company decided to use this period to temporarily shut down the underground mining and milling operation after one confirmed case of COVID-19 with a worker was reported earlier this week.

A spokesperson with the palladium mining company said health officials determined there was potential for the virus to be incubating within individuals at the site. Continue Reading →

Nickel drilling campaign turns up PGMs: Canada Nickel makes palladium-platinum find near Timmins – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – April 7, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

A fledgling junior mining company searching for nickel and cobalt, north of Timmins, has discovered a zone of palladium and platinum.

Canada Nickel Company, a spinoff of Noble Mineral Exploration, announced the discovery after the results came back from a drilling program on their Crawford nickel-cobalt sulphide project, 40 kilometres north of the city.

According to an April 6 news release, this separate zone sits north and next to the nickel sulphide discovery that was made early last year. A first-time resource calculation was posted in early March. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-Top platinum miners declare force majeure after coronavirus lockdown – by Tanisha Heiberg and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.K. – March 30, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON, March 30 (Reuters) – The world’s largest platinum producers Anglo American Platinum, Sibanye Stillwater and Impala Platinum have declared force majeure on contracts after a three-week national lockdown has forced operations to close.

South Africa, which accounts for around 70% of mined platinum, called the shutdown last week to to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The measure triggered a downgrade by ratings agency Moody’s on Friday and will hit the country’s mining industry, which accounts for about 7% of GDP.

Miners have put many of their operations in care and maintenance and have reduced metal processing, while the coronavirus has also slowed demand from global car companies. Continue Reading →

After the rout, platinum and palladium face more turmoil before recovery – by Peter Hobson and Sumita Layek (Reuters U.K. – March 18, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Platinum and palladium will remain turbulent in coming months after huge losses sparked by the spread of coronavirus, before starting a tentative recovery with support from palladium’s supply gap and platinum’s correlation with gold, analysts said.

Platinum has plunged 40% and palladium 45% from February highs as efforts to contain coronavirus stifled the global economy and turmoil in wider markets forced investors to sell precious metals for emergency cash. [MKTS/GLOB]

On Monday, platinum suffered its biggest one-day fall on record and touched $558 an ounce – the lowest since 2002 – while palladium tumbled from a record high of $2,875.50 to some $1,500 an ounce. Continue Reading →

World’s Biggest Precious Metal Industry Readies for Coronavirus – by Antony Sguazzin and Janice Kew (Bloomberg News – March 17, 2020)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

(Bloomberg) — Platinum and gold mines in South Africa, which together make up the world’s biggest precious metals industry, are gearing up to try and minimize a local outbreak of the coronavirus that could disrupt operations where hundreds of thousands of people work in close proximity.

Companies including Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. are preparing a range of measures, from checking the temperature of workers before they enter narrow elevators to descend up to 2.4 miles underground to encouraging employees to find out their HIV status. They’re also distributing flu shots and changing the way statutory medical examinations are done.

The platinum group metals industry employs about 164,000 people in South Africa. The gold industry, even though it’s in decline, has 95,000 workers. Together they generate about 200 billion rand ($12 billion) in sales annually and the metals are among the country’s biggest exports. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 3-Anglo American Platinum shares slide after explosion forces shutdown – by Helen Reid (Reuters U.S. – March 6, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG, March 6 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum declared force majeure and cut its production outlook after an explosion led to a shutdown of processing facilities, sending its shares sharply lower and driving the price of platinum up.

Amplats, the world’s second-biggest platinum producer, cut its 2020 production guidance for platinum group metals (PGMs) by 900,000 ounces, from between 4.2 million and 4.7 million ounces to between 3.3 million and 3.8 million ounces.

The miner’s Johannesburg-listed shares closed down 14.3% and Anglo American, which owns 77% of Amplats, saw its London-listed shares fall 8.8%. Spot platinum prices rose on expectations of tighter supply and were up 2.9% by 1620 GMT. Continue Reading →

Palladium and an Ontario mining success story – by Robert Mason (Canadian Mining Journal – March 2020)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

ROBERT MASON is a Toronto-based partner and the head of mining in Canada at Norton Rose Fulbright.

Palladium has been making headlines of late with the scarce metal surging past gold to hit a record high, the rally in part driven by concerns over Russian and South African supplies. Just a few years ago, in February 2016, prices fell to as low as US$482 per oz.

Since that time, however, they have increased by almost 400% to sit today at about US$2,300 per oz. This is a remarkable increase over such a short period of time, due largely to growing demand from the automotive industry for use in emissions-reducing catalytic converters.

Canada produces little palladium, but it boasts an incredible success story. Thanks to the meteoric rise in palladium prices, the value of the Lac des Iles mine near Thunder Bay has increased many times over during the last three years, culminating in the project’s sale to Impala Platinum for $1 billion last fall. Continue Reading →

Amplats CEO To Be Most Powerful Woman in Precious-Metals Mining – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – February 20, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg)-When Natascha Viljoen takes over as chief executive officer of Anglo American Platinum Ltd. in April, she will be the only woman running a major precious-metals mining company.

Mining remains male-dominated, despite efforts by companies including BHP Group to increase the presence of women in their executive leadership. Cynthia Carroll, the first female CEO of Amplats’s parent Anglo American Plc before she quit in 2012, said last year that miners should do more to push gender diversity.

​Viljoen, currently head of processing at Anglo, will take over from Chris Griffith when he leaves on April 16. The 49-year-old metallurgical engineer will report to a board that includes Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani. Viljoen’s 28-year career, including a stint at platinum producer Lonmin Plc, makes her ideally placed to take Amplats forward. Continue Reading →