Journal Archive

Platinum Metals Rev., 1993, 37, (2), 70

Availability of Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium

In view of their widespread use in the automotive, chemical, electronic and petroleum industries the platinum metals are regarded as strategic materials in the United States of America. For this reason the U.S. Bureau of Mines collects and evaluates information relating to their availability and demand. A previous report from this organisation was published in 1982, based on data — from the so-called market economy countries — available up to 1980 (1). Since then major changes have occurred in the supply of these metals as the industry prepared to satisfy the increased demand expected to result from new anti-pollution legislation, particularly in countries of the European Community.

This earlier study has now been updated following a complete re-evaluation of resources, industry structure and costs (2). Based on 1989 data, the new report commences with an overview of supply and industrial demand for platinum, palladium and rhodium. A further section considers the resources, cost and economic factors that affect the availability of the platinum metals, and includes pricing and price proportion analysis, and availability analyses. Data are presented in a total of thirty-four figures and tables, and this main part of the report is supported by 106 references.

In an appendix, demand and uses for the platinum metals are summarised. Environmental uses are regarded as some of the most critical of the many industrial applications; demand for jewellery and investment are also considered. In other appendices the methodology employed in this study is explained, the major mining properties in Southern Africa and North America are described, and mining, treatment and autocatalyst recycling processes are summarised briefly.

This most informative fifty-four page report is available without charge from: Chief, Branch of Minerals Availability; U.S. Bureau of Mines; 810 7th Street, NW; Washington, DC 20241–5202; U.S.A. For technical information, contact Catharine T. Fogg or Joseph L. Cornellisson at the Minerals Availability Field Office; U.S. Bureau of Mines; Building 53, Denver Federal Center; Denver, CO 80225; U.S.A.


  1. 1
    T. F. Anstett,, D. I. Bleiwas and C. Sheng-Fogg, “ Platinum Availability-Market Economy Countries ”, IC 8897, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Washington, 1982, 16 pp
  2. 2
    C. T. Fogg and J. L. Cornellisson, “ Availability of Platinum and Platinum-Group Metals ”, IC 9338, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Washington, 1993, 54 pp

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