THE OUTLOOK FOR PGMs
ESSENTIAL METALS TO FACILITATE THE ENERGY TRANSITION
Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) comprise four primary metals – platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold, referred to as 4E metals. Sedibelo also produces ruthenium and iridium, and the base metals of copper, nickel and cobalt.
PGMs are essential inputs into the production of autocatalysts that transform harmful emissions from an engine’s combustion of gasoline or diesel, including carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) into less harmful substances.
PGMs are also used to varying degrees in jewelry and general industrial use application as well as in the emerging hydrogen economy where they act as both a catalyst in the production of hydrogen from water and in the eventual conversion of hydrogen back into electricity.
The automotive sector, and in particular autocatalysts, dominate demand for rhodium and palladium. Platinum sees much more diverse consumer sectors, given its usage in jewelry and as an investment vehicle.
PGM DEMAND IN AUTOCATALYSTS
A key driver of PGM demand is both the number of vehicles utilizing autocatalysts as well as the loadings of PGMs per autocatalyst in each vehicle.
In recent years, emissions legislation standards in major auto markets have tightened for CO, HC, NOx and PM mass and number limits. In addition to the tightening of emissions legislation, testing processes are more rigorous. As such not only have theoretical standards changed, but vehicles true emissions are now more accurately measured.
As a result of these factors and expectations for continued regulatory focus, CRU expects increased PGM usage per autocatalyst. From 2020 to 2030 in North America, CRU expects increases of 43%, 5% and 24% for platinum, palladium and rhodium respectively.
THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY
EXPECTED TO DRIVE DEMAND FOR PGMs, PARTICULARLY PLATINUM
The hydrogen value chain comprises the production of hydrogen using electrolysers, distribution and storage, and utilization. Platinum is used in all three phases, while palladium as well as minor PGMs iridium and ruthenium complement in different combinations depending on the phase.
PGM UTILIZATION IN THE HYDROGEN VALUE CHAIN
Hydrogen consumption continues to evolve and to date has been utilized in a diverse range of applications. According to CRU, hydrogen is expected to find its end use primarily in transportation end markets with other emerging industrial usage such as in steel or cement making, to reduce their carbon footprint. CRU forecasts an increase from 2,200 MW in 2020 to 27,300 in 2030, a 1,141% increase or growth rate of 28.6% per annum.
SOUTH AFRICA DOMINATES GLOBAL PGM RESERVES
SITUATED IN SOUTH AFRICA, SEDIBELO IS PRIMED TO GROW
Sedibelo Resources is an established PGMs producer in South Africa’s Bushveld Complex, which contains approximately 91% of the world’s PGM bearing ore. We have successfully operated the open pit Pilanesberg Platinum Mine since 2008.
SOUTH AFRICA GLOBAL POSITION
In South Africa, three companies account for approximately 75% of mined platinum concentrate, but approximately 90% of platinum metal production. In Russia, PGM production is predominantly palladium and almost entirely produced by Norilsk Nickel.
Sedibelo predominantly produces platinum, palladium and rhodium.
KEY GROWTH DRIVERS FOR PGMs