Palladium: the precious metal that exceeds the price of gold

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Palladium, used in a large amount of electronic equipment, reached $ 1,600 dollars per ounce and global demand is controlled by Russia

Palladium: the precious metal that exceeds the price of gold

The Palladium, belonging to the platinum group, reached $ 1,600 dollars an ounce this week for the first time. The white metal exceeded the price of gold, which did not happen with any element since 2002, positioning it as the most valuable precious metal on the planet, according to Xataka.

Leer en español: Conozca el paladio: el metal precioso que excede el precio del oro

This metal, with the atomic number 46, has unique characteristics that make it have multiple uses. Palladium can withstand chemical erosion and intense heat, as well as be electrically stable.

This allows it to be used in electronic components and jewelry, although it is more used in the automotive industry. It is used mostly for gasoline and diesel car catalysts and electronic device capacitors.

The problem lies in the shortage of this metal. In addition, since it is considered a precious metal, its prices fluctuate according to the law of supply and demand. Engadget said that in 2017, the extraction of the material was 7.54 million ounces (214 tons).

On the other hand, in order to obtain a small quantity of palladium it is necessary to process enormous amounts of mineral material, which makes extraction even more expensive.

According to Forbes, the palladium boom began in the 2000s when it reached $ 1,000 dollars per ounce. Although several factors influenced this, what it stood out most was the technological development and the fact that this metal is used on a large scale in electronic equipment.

They also mention that Russia, having more than half of the world reserve, was not going to sell. However, they did and their prices fell for the next three years.

Then, Reuters clarified that the escalation of the price of the ounce is in part due to the Russian Ministry of Trade and Industry said that the country planned to prohibit exports of scrap precious metals, including palladium. This restriction would go from May 1 to October 31 of this year.

According to Reuters, the Palladium hits record and exceeds $ 1,600 dollars per ounce for the first time since the news announcing that Russia plans to ban scrap exports of precious metals.

Countries and companies producing palladium

Few countries have palladium reserves. Reuters showed that the most abundant known deposits are in Russia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada, the United States, Ethiopia, and Australia.

The Balance published a list of palladium-producing companies around the world and Norilsk Nickel dominates the extraction of this metal globally. This is the largest mining company in Russia and the largest nickel producer in the international market. As for palladium, Norilsk Nickel is responsible for 41% of world production.

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Its activity is in the Russian peninsulas of Taimyr and Kola, although it also has mines in Botswana and South Africa. It extracts reached, according to its latest report in 2017, 3,500,000 ounces annually.

Then, there is the South African mining company Anglo Platinum, which produces 1,600,000 ounces a year. It has 11 mines in the country and others associated in Zimbabwe. Its production of refined palladium rose by 14% from 2016 to 2017.

Impala Platinum, another South African-based miner also operates in these two countries, produced 849,000 ounces at the end of June 2018.

The production of this coveted metal is concentrated in a few countries and by few companies. According to the Investing News portal, Russia is the main producer country. In 2017, it reached 81,000 kilograms. This is followed by South Africa with 78,000 kilograms, Canada with 19,000 kg, the United States with 13,000 kg and, finally, Zimbabwe with 12,000 kg.


LatinAmerican Post | Valentina Moya
Translated from "Conozca el paladio: el metal precioso que excede el precio del oro"

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