Palladium Leading the Platinum-group Metals Market and Beyond

Palladium’s strong fundamentals lead the pack for platinum-group metals.

August 13th, 2018

Sylvania Sets Annual Production Record of 71,026 Ounces

Sylvania Platinum's Q4 results reveal record output of 20,278 ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold...

July 31st, 2018

Sibanye Closes US$500-million Gold-Palladium Deal

The US$500-million gold-palladium agreement between Sibanye and Wheaton Precious Metals closed on Wednesday, allowing Sibanye to...

July 26th, 2018

Find Out How Geopolitics Will Affect Precious Metals in 2018.


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Impala Acquires Impala Refining Services in R8-billion Deal

Impala Platinum has acquired IRS in a R8-billion deal that will allow the company to acquire...

July 25th, 2018

Zimbabwe Makes PGMs Partnership with Karo Official

After signing a US$4.2-billion deal in March, the Zimbabwe government and Karo Platinum have made their...

July 24th, 2018

Find Out How Geopolitics Will Affect Precious Metals in 2018.


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Amplats Purchases Glencore’s 39-percent Stake in Mototolo JV

Amplats has secured Glencore's 39-percent stake in the Mototolo project for R1.5 billion, increasing its ownership...

July 23rd, 2018

Amplats Garners Impressive Q2 and Amps Up FY Guidance

Amplats announced that it delivered 1.2-million ounces of platinum group metals in the second quarter and...

July 19th, 2018
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Palladium, named after Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, is from the same group of metals as platinum, but has the malleability and ductility of gold. It was discovered in 1803 by English chemist William H. Wollaston after he dissolved platinum in a solution of hydrochloric and nitric acids. Eventually, Wollaston was able to isolate palladium in a series of chemical reactions, ultimately extracting the metal from palladium cyanide. After anonymously selling the metal at market for two years, Wollaston spoke at the Royal Society of London about the properties and production of palladium, revealing himself as discoverer of the metal. Palladium is found in various places throughout the world, often together with other platinum group metals (PGMs). Deposits...

Palladium, named after Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, is from the same group of metals as platinum, but has the malleability and ductility of gold. It was discovered in 1803 by English chemist William H. Wollaston after he dissolved platinum in a solution of hydrochloric and nitric acids.

Eventually, Wollaston was able to isolate palladium in a series of chemical reactions, ultimately extracting the metal from palladium cyanide. After anonymously selling the metal at market for two years, Wollaston spoke at the Royal Society of London about the properties and production of palladium, revealing himself as discoverer of the metal.

Palladium is found in various places throughout the world, often together with other platinum group metals (PGMs). Deposits can be found in countries such as Russia, North and South America, Ethiopia and Australia. Palladium may also be found with nickelcopper deposits in South Africa and Ontario.

However, Russia is the world’s largest palladium producer, contributing about 40 percent of the world’s supply of the metal. Russia’s state metals depository is also thought to hold large stockpiles of the metal, but does not reveal exactly how much palladium it has on hand.

Global palladium mine production fell 7 percent in 2014 to 6.04 million ounces, a 12 year low, according to Thomson Reuters GFMS. Market watchers expect palladium to remain in deficit for 2015, largely on the back of rising vehicle sales.

The automotive sector consumes the lion’s share of the world’s palladium supply each year, as palladium is primarily used in catalytic converters to help reduce toxic emissions. The tightening of emissions standards worldwide has heightened palladium demand, especially in emerging economies like China, India, Brazil and Russia.

Furthermore, William Tankard of Thomson Reuters has noted that while palladium is used in catalytic converters for gasoline engines and platinum is used for diesel, palladium is starting to encroach on platinum’s market share – palladium is being substituted for platinum when possible since it is cheaper.

Palladium is also commonly used in jewelry and dentistry, and in the electronics industry.

Investing in palladium

There are a number of options for those interested in investing in palladium. As with gold, silver and other precious metals, it is possible to buy palladium from a bullion dealer in the form of coins or bars.

One can also invest in palladium via exchange traded funds (ETFs) such as the Sprott Physical Platinum and Palladium Trust (ARCA:SPPP) or the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSEARCA:PALL). ETFs track palladium – or other metals or stocks – like an index fund, but trade like stocks on an exchange.

Finally, investors can gain exposure to palladium by buying shares in palladium mining companies. Russia’s Norilsk Nickel (MCX:GMKN) is the world’s largest palladium producer, but other significant producers include Anglo American Platinum Anglo American Platinum (LSE:AAL), Impala Platinum Holdings (JSE:IMP,OTC Pink:IMPUY) and Lonmin (LSE:LMI), all of which operate PGM mines in South Africa.

In North America, important mining companies in the palladium space include North American Palladium (TSX:PDL), which operates the Lac des Iles palladium mine in Quebec, and Stillwater Mining (NYSE:SWC), which runs the Stillwater and East Boulder mines in Montana. Stillwater also operates a PGM recycling business.

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