Platinum (pronounced /plæt nəm/) is a chemical element with the atomic symbol Pt and
an atomic number of 78. It is in group 10 of the Periodic Table of Elements. A heavy,
malleable, ductile, precious, gray-white transition metal, platinum is resistant to
corrosion and occurs in some nickel and copper ores along with some native deposits.
Platinum is used in jewelry, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts, dentistry, and
automobile emissions control devices. Platinum bullion has the ISO currency code of
Platinum occurs naturally in the alluvial sands of various rivers, though there is little
evidence of its use by ancient peoples. However, the metal was used by pre-Columbian
Native Americans near modern-day Esmeraldas, Ecuador to produce artifacts of a white
gold-platinum alloy. The first European reference to platinum appears in 1557 in the
writings of the Italian humanist Julius Caesar Scaliger as a description of an unknown
noble metal found between Darién and Mexico, "which no fire nor any Spanish artifice
has yet been able to liquefy."
Platinum is one of the rarest elements. Its abundance is estimated to be about 0.003
parts per million in the Earth's crust.
Platinum is an extremely rare metal, occurring as only 0.003 ppb in the Earth's crust, and
is 30 times rarer than gold. It is sometimes mistaken for silver (Ag) but platinum is
whiter in appearance.
Platinum is often found chemically uncombined as native platinum and alloyed with
iridium as platiniridium. Most often the native platinum is found in secondary deposits,
platinum is combined with the other platinum group metals in alluvial deposits. The
alluvial deposits used by pre-Columbian people in the Chocó Department, Colombia
are still a source for platinum group metals.
The largest known primary reserves are in the Bushveld complex in South Africa, the
large copper–nickel deposits near Norilsk in Russia, and the Sudbury Basin, Canada
with its large ore deposits are the two other large deposits. In the Sudbury Basin the
huge quantities of nickel ore processed makes up for the fact that platinum is present as
only 0.5 ppm in the ore. Smaller reserves can be found in the United States, for example
the and in the Absaroka Range in Montana. This is also shown in the production of
2005. In 2005, South Africa was the top producer of platinum with an almost 80% share
followed by Russia and Canada.
The distribution of Platinum seems to validate the theory that Platinum was carried
toward the Earth's surface from great depths by geologic activity, perhaps with other
metals as a solid solution within molten rock. After this solid solution cooled, its
Platinum content was spread
through such a great volume of rock that large fragments were unusual; this theory
explains why much of the world's Platinum is in small, often microscopic particles.
Platinum is rarely found and even more rarely in quantities rich enough to becalled an
LONG TERM PRICE TRENDS:
Since April 2001 the Platinum price has more than tripled in value against the US dollar.
In March 2008, the Platinum price increased above$2200, which in real terms is still well
below the $889.47/oz. peak on January 21, 1980. Indexed for inflation, the 1980 high
would equate to a price of around $3,800 in 2007 US dollars.
PLATINUM YESTERDAY, TODAY & TOMORROW:
As you know, a platinum is very rare precious metal. Platinum is a widely-used, although
extremely rare metal, critically import to the auto industry, the jewelry trade, and the
chemical, electrical and glass manufacture industries. Far rarer than gold, it is
estimated that all of the platinum ever mined throughout history would fit into a cube less
than 25 feet on each side. The vast majority of platinum mined today comes from just
tow parts of the world; the Bushveld Complex, South Africa and Siberia region, Russian,
which produce, respectively, about 2/3 and ¼ of the world’s platinum supply each year!!
In the United States, so far the largest platinum deposit were found in Stillwater
Platinum’s supply/demand fundamentals are very tight. According to some estimates, if
platinum mining were to cease today, there would be only about a year’s supply
available to industry. In contrast, above-ground supplies of gold would last nearly a
quarter of a century. Thus, platinum investment makes lots of sense in a long run.