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Volume 7, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0032-1400


A major development in the world’s platinum industry took place in the early nineteen twenties when large deposits of platinum bearing ore were discovered in the Transvaal in South Africa. This led to the formation in 1931 of Rustenburg Platinum Mines Limited to work these deposits, and this company remains to this day the only platinum producer in South Africa and the only major producer in the world whose prime activity is the extraction of the platinum metals.

From the outset Johnson Matthey has been associated with Rustenburg, first in developing methods for the extraction of the platinum metals from these ores, and thereafter as smelters and refiners of the output from the mines.

This article describes the complex and lengthy cycle of operations required to effect complete recovery of the six platinum metals and to yield at the same time electrolytically refined copper and nickel.

Today the joint activities of Rustenburg and Johnson Matthey constitute the world’s largest source of the platinum metals in all forms. Together they ensure to industry throughout the world adequate and continuing supplies of these metals.


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  1. Beath C. B., Westwood R. J., and Cousins C. A. Platinum Mining at Rustenburg, Platinum Metals Rev., 1961, 5, 102108 [Google Scholar]
  2. Cousins C. A. The Bushveld Igneous Complex, Platinum Metals Rev., 1959, 3, 9499 [Google Scholar]

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  • Article Type: Research Article
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