University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

West, J. M.
Platinum: group metals,   pp. 1043-1054 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 1043

Table 1.—Salient platinum-group metals statistics (Troy ounces) 
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
1972 
United States: 
Mineproduction'               
 Value                    Refinery production: 
 Newmetal               
 Secondary metal          Exports (except manufactures)   Imports for consumption
      Stocks Dec. 31: Refiner, importer, dealer                   Consumption
World: Production                
 14,793 
$1,500,603 
 12,305 
 329,455 
 395,157 
1,773,984 
 802,711 
' 1,283,911 3,393,749 
 21,586 
$2,094,607 
 17,875 
 371,659 
 501,064 
1,225,851 
1,077,478 
' 1,373,469 3,431,155 
 17,316 
$1,429,521 
 19,822 
 350,176 
 413,766 
1,410,786 
 765,332 
' 1,296,795 4,238,956 
 18,029 
$1,359,675 
 21,184 
 278,175 
 404,610 
1,302,740 
 856,784 rl,265,716 4,084,110 
 17,112 
$1,267,298 
 15,380 
 255,641 
 538,986 
1,836,349 
 896,677 
1,559,822 
4,613,431 
Revised. 
 ' From crude platinum placers and byproduct platinum-group metals recovered
largely from domestic copper ores. 
  1043Platinum-Group Metals 
By J. M. West 1 
 On the strength of a sharp upturn in consumption and growing anticipation
that relatively large quantities of platinumgroup metals might be needed
within a few years for automotive exhaust control, platinum prices and world
production posted significant increases in 1972. By the second quarter, U.S.
dealers' prices for platinum and palladium had exceeded producers' prices.
By early May, the dealers' price for iridium had rocketed from $145—$148
to $525 per ounce, settling back thereafter. 
 During the year, U.S. mine and secondary production declined 5% and 8%,
respectively. However, refinery output of new metal, mainly from imported
concentrates and matte, nearly doubled. The volume of metal refined on toll
declined, mainly because of a drop in palladium recycling. Imports rose about
534,000 ounces; exports rose 134,000 ounces; stocks, including those on the
Mercantile Exchange, rose 69,800 ounces; and sales rose 294,100 ounces. Overall
sales were up 23% over those in 1971, with gains in sales of each platinum-group
metal. The most significant increase was in sales of platinum, which rose
26%; iridium and ruthenium sales ex 
panded greatly as a result of new chemical and petroleum uses. 
 Work! production of platinum metals rose 1~% in 1972, owing to mine and
refinery expansions in the Republic of South Africa and the U.S.S.R. Canadian
production declined because of production cutbacks in the nickel industry,
thereby limiting byproduct platinum output. The bulk of the South African
production continued to be platinum, while the bulk of the U.S.S.R. production
was palladium. 
 Concerns mounted in 1972 over whether established sources of new platinum
could supply all the requirements for emission control devices that would
be forthcoming with enforcement of new U.S. air quality standards. Producers
and processors were active in reassuring potential consumers and Government
agencies involved that adequate supplies could be made available if given
adequate lead time to expand facilities. A number of provisional supply/
purchase contracts were signed during the year by automakers. Major expansions
were underway at yearend. 
Legislation and Government Programs. 
—Government stockpile accumulations at 
 I Physical scientist, Division of Nonferrous Metals. 


Go up to Top of Page