All-electric vehicles are estimated to take 55% of the overall automobile sales by 2040. With Platinum being one of the major elements for emissions reduction, how does the future of platinum investment fare with the diminishing share of internal combustion engines (ICE’s) and rise of advocacy for cleaner energy.
The future looks bright as Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles are on the rise. An estimate of 18,000 FCEV are currently sold annually.
Demand will balloon to 270,000 in 2025 and one million by 2030. These require significant amount on Platinum Group Metals (PGM’s) and with ICE’s still in use platinum demand is expected to rise steadily from current levels. South Africa, the world biggest supplier is plagued by issues related to labour unrest, costs, safety, depth and depleting grades with depth. Zimbabwe, the third biggest producer with the second biggest platinum reserves has seen significant increase in investment with one miner Great Dyke Investments (GDI), a joint venture between Russian JSC Afromet and Zimbabwean Peneast Mining Company (Pvt) Ltd closing out a deal to develop the US$ 4 Billion open pit platinum mine and downstream smelting infrastructure.
The mine is expected to run through to 2055 with a total resource of the deposit amount 50 million ounces (1,550 t) of PGMs, of which 17.6 million ounces (550 t) have been thoroughly explored and confirmed based on JORC standards. The Great Dyke Investments project is expected to produce 855 000 ounces of platinum group metals (PGMs) on completion in the next few years. This will see for the first time full end to end processing of the metal within the country to which other seasonal miners like Zimplats, Mimosa and AnglopPlatinum have been exporting as concentrates for further processing in South Africa.
The question that remains that remain unanswered is, with the past and current political climate in Zimbabwe, will investor confidence and protection be raised and guaranteed considering the mining policies that have been adopted in the past? It remains to be seen if platinum mining in Zimbabwe will continue to grow as it holds some of the biggest and most cost effective platinum more bodies in the world. On the other hand, Norilsk Nickel and Russian Platinum may invest US$3.8 Billion in the Arctic Palladium project, Vice-President of Norilsk Nickel Dmitry Pristanskov indicated. The project will create about 8,000 jobs in the north of the region.
According to him, the project involves the development of several platinum-group metal deposits on Taimyr Peninsula (north of the Krasnoyarsk) and investments are to be made before 2033.