Platinum is a chemical element, a precious metal somewhat less popular than gold and silver. The name comes from the Spanish word platina, meaning silver. This diminishment was meant to emphasize the small importance of this metal, because at that time it was considered a worthless kind of silver. Metal was discovered only in 1735 in Colombia.
The price of platinum for a gram – quotes, platinum price
Platinum is listed on many stock exchanges in the world. Most often its price is given in US dollars but it also happens to platinum in pounds sterling and euro. The price of platinum on the world’s stock exchanges is usually reported as Trojan ounce, which is about 31 grams.
Metal on the world’s stock exchanges is offered through futures contracts so we can hedge against the risk of price changes of this metal or speculate on future movements. Some brokers offer CFD contracts on platinum. With CFD we can speculate on price changes without physically buying the metal.
The London Metal Exchange (LME) is a futures exchange with the world’s largest market for options and futures for various metals, including platinum. Platinum is quoted on LME in US dollars and the price is quoted as one ounce.
The CME Group is currently associated with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBOT) and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Platinum is listed on NYMEX in New York. The price, as for the LME, is quoted in US dollars for one ounce.
Platinum occurs in the earth’s crust in the form of grains, sometimes larger bodies not exceeding 10 kg. It usually contains iron, from a few to as much as 20%. The occurrence of platinum in nature is associated with the crystallization of igneous rocks. Platinum is a very rare metal. It can be in pure indigenous form, as a mineral, in the form of ore or in the alloy with iridium (another metal, also of silvery color).
Platinum production is usually a side effect associated with the production and extraction of copper and nickel. During electrification of copper, precious metals such as silver, gold and platinum settle on the bottom of the cell as “anodic mud”, which forms the starting point for metal production. If platinum is contained in ores, it is isolated from them by various means of reducing pollution. Since platinum is much denser than many other metals, they can be removed simply by floating them in liquid. In addition, platinum has a higher melting point than most other substances, so many impurities can be burned or melted without melting platinum. Finally, platinum is resistant to hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, while other substances are readily absorbed by them.
The largest companies involved in the extraction and production of platinum
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the company’s assets consist of 11 managed mines and several joint ventures throughout South Africa and Zimbabwe. Most of the ore from these mines is treated in one of the 14 branches of the company before smelting in one of the three refineries in South Africa. Amplats is definitely the world’s largest platinum manufacturer with annual production exceeding 2 million ounces. The company is headquartered in Johannesburg. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Impala Platinum (Implats), the company’s focus is around the Bushveld complex (South Africa’s geographical region, including the North West Province of South Africa) and Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. The company’s main operating unit is located in the western part of the Bushveld complex near Rustenburg. Implats also owns a 73% stake in the Marula mine in eastern Bushveld. The company produces about 1.5 million ounces a year. The headquarters are located in Johannesburg. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and the OTC Markets Group.
Lonmin, the company initially operated in conjunction with London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company Ltd. (Lonrho). Marikana’s main mines are located in the western part of the Bushveld complex. The ores extracted by the company are sent to the Lonmin process department, where metals such as copper, nickel and platinum are isolated. The company extracts about 600 thousand ounce a year. Headquartered in London. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Norilsk Nickel (Norilsk) is the world’s largest producer of nickel (17 percent of global production) and palladium (41 percent) and is among the top ten copper producers. The company extracts precious metals, including platinum, as by-products from mines in Russia, as well as in Botswana and South Africa. Annual output of platinum in Norilsk is about 600 thousand ounce. The company is headquartered in Moscow. The company is listed on the Moscow Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
Stillwater Mining Company is one of the two major palladium producers in the world. The company owns mines located in Montana, where palladium, platinum, and small quantities of rhodium are mined. The annual output of platinum is about 150 thousand ounce. The company is headquartered in the United States in Billings, Montana. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Vale SA is a Brazilian company operating all over the world. It is the second largest mining company, a leading producer of iron ore and the second largest producer of nickel in the world. Since many nickel ores contain platinum, Vale is able to extract platinum from it as a byproduct of the nickel refining process. The company has its own facilities in Sudbury, Canada and Port Colborne, Ontario, which produce intermediate products such as platinum, gold and silver. These, together with the recycled materials, are sent to a refinery in Acton, England, where they are processed into high purity products. The annual output of platinum is about 130 thousand. oz. Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company is listed on many stock exchanges in the world, such as BM&F BOVESPA, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Euronext, the Madrid Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Madrid) and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK).
Asahi Holding is a Japanese company that produces platinum estimated at about 10.6 billion yen a year, about 75,000 ounces. It collects and processes precious metal used in electronics, catalysts, dentistry, jewelry and photography. Headquartered in Tokyo. The company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Use of platinum
Platinum has a very wide application. It is used in the automotive industry, in electrical equipment, in the chemical industry and in jewelery. Here are the main devices manufactured using platinum:
Catalysts – this is the most common use, applied since the beginning of the nineteenth century. A vehicle catalyst that enables the combustion of low concentrations of unburned hydrocarbons from exhaust gases. Platinum is also used in the petroleum industry as a catalyst in a number of separate processes. Platinum is also used in catalysts for the hydrogenation of vegetable oils, also known as Adams catalysts.
Jewelery – platinum is used in jewelery, usually as a 90-95% alloy. They are made of coins, bars and jewelry. It is also used in the production of exclusive watch brands such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breitlin. Watchmakers will appreciate the unique properties of platinum because it is not damaged or worn. The price of platinum, like other precious metals, is more variable than the price of gold. In the period of continued economic stability and growth, the price of platinum is twice that of gold, while in periods of economic uncertainty, the price of platinum is decreasing due to falling industrial demand, usually falling below the gold price. Gold prices are more stable as gold is considered a safe haven.
Metal products – platinum is used as a melt agent for various metal products, including fine wires, non-corrosive laboratory containers, medical instruments, dental prostheses, electrical contacts, etc. Platinum is also used to manufacture relatively strong magnets in combination with cobalt. Plate-based anodes are used in ships and pipelines.
Platinum was discovered only in the 18th century. Initially not appreciated at all. The first explorers considered it worthless silver, and platinum were thrown out or used to build houses. High melting point and exceptional resistance to chemical agents make platinum very applicable in the automotive and chemical industries. It is used for the production of car catalysts. Platinum is considered a precoius metal, although its use is not as common as gold or silver. The platinum price oscillates around the price of gold, although in good times it is usually higher than the price of gold, and in periods of lower economic slowdown. This is due to the fact that platinum is more widely used in industries that are heavily dependent on the economy, and gold is considered a safe haven, so in times of downturn it will not lose or even gain. More specifically, gold will gain at negative real interest rates when inflation surpasses interest rates. In this situation investments in deposits, bonds will not yield an income in excess of inflation.