Miners Unite to Market Platinum

PlatinumJohannesburg: South Africa’s platinum miners have set up an international council to drive investment in the metal as prices remain stagnant, despite the five-month blow to supply earlier this year and recycling being a competitive source of metal.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Aquarius Platinum, Impala Platinum, Lonmin, Northam Platinum and Royal Bafokeng Platinum will each fund the council in a formula based on their refined platinum production, and have representatives on the council’s board.

The London-based World Platinum Investment Council, funded by SA’s six largest platinum miners, will set up offices in Asia and the US to encourage platinum investment by financial institutions, wealthy individuals and retail investors.

“If we see gaps in countries or regions that don’t have exchange-traded funds of the right kind or don’t have enough inventory of bars and coins to stimulate the market and satisfy demand, we will encourage financial services companies to fill those gaps and we’ll work with them to understand what those needs are that haven’t been satisfied,” said Paul Wilson, the council’s CEO.

The council would also talk to central banks about holding platinum in the same way they held gold, as a source of value in their countries’ reserves, he said.

“It’s a topic I’m keen to pursue but I’m assured by all concerned that it’s a long-term project. If gold is held in that way, there is absolutely no reason why platinum cannot be held in the same way. We haven’t started discussions with any central banks at this stage,” he said.

One of the ways to bolster demand for platinum as an investment proposal will be by releasing free detailed supply and demand data into the market quarterly, with comment and analysis.