In South Africa, PGM-bearing ores generally have a low PGM content of between 2 and 6 grams per tonne and it typically takes up to six months and between 10 and 40 tonnes of ore to produce one troy ounce of platinum (31,1035g).
Platinum output falling
PGM reserves yield not only platinum, but also its sister metals – palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium – alongside base metals like nickel and copper, as well as gold and silver. Together, these are referred to as the metals ‘basket’.
Platinum mining output from South Africa has fallen by 8 per cent since 2011. In fact, recent figures from the South African government’s office of statistics shows that in the 12 months to August 2019, PGM production fell 12.5 per cent.