Journal Archive

Platinum Metals Rev., 1967, 11, (4), 131

Further Expansion in Platinum Production

A New Refinery in South Africa

Although a further increase in the output of platinum to 750,000 ounces a year was announced by Rustenburg Platinum Mines as recently as October of last year, yet another step in the expansion programme has been decided upon. Plans to increase mining capacity to an annual equivalent of about 850,000 ounces of platinum – with corresponding amounts of the other platinum metals – have been put in hand and are expected to begin yielding these additional amounts of metal by the end of 1969. The capital expenditure involved in the complete expansion programme over the years 1967 to 1971 will exceed £15 million.

Extensions to the smelting and refining facilities are also in hand both at Matte Smelters (jointly owned by Rustenburg and Johnson Matthey) and at the Johnson Matthey plants in the United Kingdom.

In addition, Johnson Matthey have decided, subject to the necessary Government authority being granted, to build a platinum refinery as an extension to the operations already carried out at Wadeville by Johnson Matthey & Co South Africa (Pty) Limited. This new refinery will be constructed and equipped during 1968 and will come into operation in the early part of 1969. It will take partially refined material treated by Matte Smelters at Rustenburg and produce pure platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and osmium as well as their compounds. The new Johnson Matthey refinery at Wadeville will complete the plans for handling Rustenburg’s increased output and will, for the first time, make platinum metals available in marketable forms in South Africa.

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