South Africa

Palladium prices experienced an 11 percent increase since the start of February. Supply concerns due to the South African platinum miners’ strike might have helped move prices higher. The move seems to have great momentum, but how much higher can prices go? The precious and platinum-group metal (PGM) has been trading sideways since the end of 2012. […]

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Every single gold, silver, platinum and palladium price point tracked by MetalMiner’s monthly Global Precious Metals MMI® rose over the month of February, pushing the index to a value of 96 for March’s reading, an increase of 5.5 percent from 91 in February. Compare with last month’s trends – here’s our free February MMI® Report. […]

The platinum price has been rising for the last 12 months, as this graph from producer Johnson Matthey shows, even as gold – with which it is often linked – had been steadily falling for most of last year. Platinum and its sister metal palladium have certainly benefited from rising automotive production, stimulating demand from […]

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The platinum market, to borrow a soccer phrase, is a game of two halves. The platinum price has fallen steadily over the last 12 months, as the following graph from Johnson Matthey shows, but this coming year the future may not be as gloomy. Platinum has struggled from the double-hangover of a falling gold price […]

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Should a country like South Africa really be producing an energy-intensive product like aluminum when the country’s power supply is so constrained? BHP Billiton (LON:BHP) is importing bauxite from the firm’s Australian mines, taking advantage of the cheap power afforded by Eskom’s consumers’ subsidized supply, and then mostly re-exporting the finished ingot. Good deal for […]

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In the murky world of South African politics and big business, it is tough to get through to the facts. Critics have argued for years that BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)’s power deal with Eskom is a sweet deal for the firm and a disaster for the country. Brokered by Mick Davis (subsequently of Xstrata fame, but […]

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Most analysts and market commentators agree that palladium is looking likely for a price rise in 2014. A number of reasons support this – but risks remain. According to Forbes, last year at least 44% of the global supply of palladium came from Russia, some of it mined, some of it released from state reserves. […]

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Nelson Mandela, the monumental figure in the anti-apartheid movement and leader of so much more than just the South African nation from 1994 to 1999, passed peacefully on Dec. 5 in his Johannesburg home. His legacy and demeanor should never be forgotten, and should stand as a testament to racial reconciliation and political leadership the […]

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The road since the end of apartheid in 1994 has not been a smooth one, but in the two decades that followed, it has been characterized by foreign investment and considerable optimism across all sections of society. But the government of Jacob Zuma has struggled to maintain the momentum started by Nelson Mandela and the […]

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The public debate developing in South Africa between BHP Billiton and the state electricity producer Eskom lifts the wraps on the usually secret world of power company-aluminium smelter supply agreements. Like most aluminium smelters, BHP Billiton has been enjoying a preferential rate of supply with Eskom for its Richards Bay smelters, a deal made in […]

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