Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (NYSE: PLG) is a mining and technology company focused on the production of platinum, palladium and rhodium and the use of these metals in emerging battery chemistries.
Precious Metals and the Waterberg PGM Project
Platinum group metals (PGMs) include platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium. These metals are known for their purity, high melting points and unique catalytic properties.
Palladium is currently trading near an all-time high of $3,000 per ounce and rhodium is trading at $28,000 per ounce.
Since the 1970s, platinum, palladium and rhodium have been used for catalytic converters — an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants. The bulk of global PGMs are mined in South Africa and Russia.
The Waterberg PGM Project, located in South Africa on the northern limb of the Bushveld Complex, is a large-scale platinum group metal resource with an attractive risk profile given its shallow nature. The project facilitates fully mechanised production with the potential to have among the lowest operating costs in the PGM sector. The Project was granted a license to mine in early 2021.
Old Car, New Car and Transitioning to Clean Energy
As the electric car market evolves, Platinum Group Metals has plans to enter this market.
In 2019, PLG and Anglo American Platinum launched a new venture, Lion Battery Technologies Inc., to accelerate the development of next-generation battery technology using platinum and palladium. The possibility of creating additional demand for platinum and palladium in the battery technology space is an exciting development and strategically important to both parties.
Lion Battery has entered into an agreement with Florida International University to further advance a research program that uses platinum and palladium to unlock the potential of lithium air and lithium sulfur battery chemistries to increase their discharge capacities and cyclability.
Under the agreement with Florida International University, Lion Battery will have exclusive rights to all intellectual property and will lead all commercialization efforts. Lion is also currently reviewing several additional and complementary opportunities focused on developing next-generation battery technology using platinum and palladium.
“These rare metals have a role in green transportation because they’re a special catalyst. They make more efficient reactions happen,” stated CEO Michael Jones during the Benzinga Small Cap Cleantech Conference in April.
Jones added, “The whole idea of pivoting our way of using energy and going into things like battery electric vehicles is to create a new demand on metals, which, quite frankly, the underlying metals aren’t prepared for. That’s why we’re seeing palladium at $2,800 per ounce and copper at over $4, for example.”
“If we’re going to make this energy transition, we need a lot more of the stuff [platinum and palladium] that’s going to go into these technologies. Investors are so concerned with the technologies but it’s a great opportunity to go one step down and really think about the fundamental materials that are going to feed into clean energy tech,” Jones concluded.
Platinum Group Metals is currently in the early stages of testing the application of these same metals in vehicle batteries. More on this soon to come.
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Platinum Group Metals is a partner of Benzinga. The information in this article does not represent the investment advice of Benzinga or its writers.
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