Global Slice 🌍: Platinum



[ Below is from 10 minerals.docx ]


95% of it in South Africa (63,000)
Also in Russia 3,200 – 3,900
Zimbabwe 1,200 tonns
Canada 310
US 0.3
170 1) South Africa: 110 (2018) (In August 2018, Impala Platinum, one of the leading platinum miners in the world, announced plans to close five shafts at the Impala Rustenburg mine. A significant decline in the US$ platinum price along with sustained high mining-cost infla-tion was cited as the reason for the restruc-turing. South Africa is home to the Bushveld Complex, which is considered to be the larg-est resource for PGMs in the world.

2) Russia: 21 (Russia is the second-largest producer of platinum in the world. A bulk of Russia’s production of PGMs comes from Norilsk Nickel’s operations, which are pri-marily based on the Taymyr Peninsula in East Siberia, and those located on the Kola Penin-sula. The Norilsk mining centre in the Russian High Arctic is the main producer of the com-modities in the country. Owned 100% by Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel), the Norilsk min-ing centre is considered to be the world’s largest producer of palladium. In 2018, Nor-nickel entered into a partnership with Rus-sian Platinum to establish a 50:50 joint ven-ture (JV) to develop disseminated ore depos-its located in the Norilsk Industrial District. The JV has a target of producing nearly 70-100 tonnes of PGMs annually from Nornick-el’s Maslovskoe deposit and Russian Plati-num’s South flank of Norilsk-1 and Bokoni Chernogorskoe deposits).

3) Zimbabwe: 14 (The country’s major plati-num mines are the Mimosa mine, Ngezi mine, and the Unki mine. The Mimosa mine is locat-ed in the Midlands Province and is owned by Mimosa Investments, a JV between Implats and Aquarius Platinum. The Ngezi mine is one of the largest resources of platinum in South-ern Africa. This Zimbabwean platinum mine is owned by Zimplats and Impala Platinum. The Unki mine is located in central Zimbabwe in the Midlands Province. It is owned by An-glo American Platinum.

4) Canada: 9.5 (A significant part of platinum mined in Canada is a by-product of nickel mining. Canada exports the majority of its output to the US. Ontario’s Sudbury Basin hosts a majority of the country’s platinum producing mines. Raglan nickel mine in Que-bec and the Lac des Iles mine in Western On-tario are the other platinum-producing sites. The country’s River Valley in Alberta is the largest undeveloped primary PGM resource. In June 2019, Sibanye-Stillwater signed an acquisition agreement with Generation Min-ing (Gen Mining) for the development of the PGM-copper Marathon project in Canada. The deposit is located 10km north of the town of Marathon, Ontario, and on the eastern margin of the Coldwell Complex, which is a protero-zoic layered intrusion. The proposed project includes three open pits, an ore processing plant, tailings and mine rock storage facilities, and a 7km power transmission line. The mine will have a production capacity of approxi-mately 22,000 tonnes per day. In August 2019, Canada-based mining company North Ameri-can Palladium (NAP) announced the acquisi-tion of a 51% stake in the Sunday Lake Pro-ject from Impala Platinum (Implats). The pro-ject is located 25km north of Thunder Bay in Jacques Township, and approximately 60km south of NAP’s Lac des Iles Mine operations (LDI).

5) USA: 4.1
The US is the fifth largest platinum producer in the world, with a production of 3.6mt in 2018. The country owns two platinum pro-ducing mines including the Stillwater Mine, located in Nye, Montana, and the East Boulder Mine, which is located by Big Timber, Mon-tana.

The Stillwater platinum/palladium mine is in the Beartooth Mountains, 130km southwest of Billings, Montana. Production at the Stillwater mine commenced in 1986. Located 20km west of Stillwater, the East Boulder project began commercial production in 2002. In December 2016, South Africa’s Sibanye Gold agreed to acquire the Stillwater Mining Company which owns the Stillwater Mine and East Boulder Mine, for $2.2bn. The current mineral reserves estimated to sustain the Stillwater West section until 2044 and that of the East Boulder mine until 2056. Platinum is a soft, heavy, white colored precious met-al. It is most commonly used in catalytic converters for automobiles and is also prominently used in jew-elry. The worldwide demand for platinum in 2018 amounted to nearly 7.8 million ounces. With such a high demand, production of platinum is important in order to meet the demand.

As the metal is rarely found in isolation, a complex series of physical and chemical processes are em-ployed for its extraction, processing and purification.

The African continent has dominated the world’s plat-inum production over the years with South Africa leading the way.


Platinum Production

Total platinum mined in 2017 was … tonnes. Divided equally between all 7.5 billion people, this would be … per person; divided between 10 million, …; divided between 12.5 billion, ….

The top 10 producing countries are listed and charted below. Click the “▶Remaining countries” legend under the chart to see the others.

▶Remaining countries
Data as above, but for the remaining countries.