Skip to content

A view – all the pgm miners are about to go bust

The platinum arm of Anglo American is to cut 3,700 jobs in South Africa as the British mining company attempts to improve performance in the troubled division.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said on Monday it aimed to cut jobs after a sharp drop in platinum metal prices, which had led to a collapse in profits last year.

The jobs under threat account for about one-fifth of the Johannesburg-based company’s total workforce, with Amplats also reviewing the roles of an additional 620 contractors.

Profits at Amplats, in which Anglo American holds a 79% stake, fell to R14bn (£586m) in 2023, down by 71% from R48.8bn in 2022.

“About” might be a bit early but…..

The platinum/palladium/rhodium market is dominated by two things.

1) Catalytic convertors

2) The stock of the metals in the current car fleet that will be recycled at end of life.

As an example, US Pt/Pd use seems to be 130k kg or so, recycling is 55k kg or so from car catalysts alone.

So, the move to EVs – or hybrids, or fuel cells, whatever. Sure, it’s not going to be 100% by 2030 or anything, but. So, we’re going to have that same flow of end of life catalysts coming to market and no more, or many fewer, being made.

Miners of virgin material are going to get screwed, right? Because yes, that recycling is vastly cheaper to do – that’s why a used cat actually has a value in your hands on the roadside.

It’s not an industry I’d be leaving my money in, put it that way.

It’s possible to think the other way, that fuel cells using Pt will take over. But actually sensible fuel cells are SOFC ones, which don’t use pgms.

8 thoughts on “A view – all the pgm miners are about to go bust”

  1. Some will, not all. There will be a rough patch but the EV revolution is stuttering now and will slow right down because the support infrastructure isn’t getting built by any means fast enough.

    So there will still be plenty of new ICE on the way.

  2. I saw that 23andMe is now a penny stock. Down from 6bn max in 3 1/2 years. They were doing 8million a year still losing money, and given its just a one off purchase doesn’t look good. The hope was that they can use the gene data to develop/flog gene tailored drugs. Unfortunately privacy leak dents confidence in that model plus lots more cash needed and time to develop the drugs, which they haven’t done yet.

  3. (Adjusts tin-foil hat). Don’t worry about 23andme. It still has work to do for the deep-state so it will limp on.

  4. The fall in platinum prices must be down to the vibrant midnight catalytic converter recycling program here in the US.

  5. I agree with Tractor Gent, the government mandated transition to electric cars is simply not possible. Not only is there never going to be sufficient infrastructure built, most people don’t want the things. More and more reasons not to buy one are coming to light all the time. First and most obvious is that they are hideously bad for the environment, since being supposedly green is the biggest reason given for promoting them they fall at the first hurdle. Add to that the problem with range, charging times, tendency to spontaneously combust, having to be written off after minor bumps, and massive depreciation, the only people buying them are those who don’t know any better. People with first hand experience of them are mostly learning the hard way while not admitting it to anyone as they don’t want to look like idiots.

  6. Michael van der Riet

    I assure you that it has absolutely nothing to do with heavily unionised and labor-law protected overpaid miners pricing themselves out of jobs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *