The rhodium price has quadrupled in a year — here’s why and who’s in it
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In the last several months there’s been much hype around gold and why wouldn’t there be given it has shot up to $2,514 in Aussie dollar terms?
But one commodity that has slipped under the radar is platinum group metal rhodium. Rhodium prices have quadrupled in the last 12 months.
Several bullion exchanges label this commodity as 100 times rarer than gold. It has many uses including in jewellery, glass fibre production and nuclear reactors.
But as with its platinum group cousins its primary use is in three-way catalytic converters for cars — these reduces emissions from exhaust systems.
One company involved in rhodium is Impact Resources (ASX:IPT). Managing director Mike Jones told Stockhead demand had risen because of emerging laws forcing carmakers to invest in more effective converters.
“[Rhodium] has rocketed because of emission requirements,” Dr Jones said.
Eighty per cent of the world’s rhodium mining occurs in South Africa and 68 per cent comes from just three companies — Sibanye, Impala and Amplats.
But there are a couple of ASX-listed explorers that count rhodium among the metals they are on the hunt for.
There is no shortage of small caps searching for platinum group metals but only a handful are exploring specifically for rhodium.
What was already a short list was further cut last year when Botswana-focused Nkwe Platinum (ASX:NKP) was acquired by Chinese resources investment group Zijin.
Only two stocks have platinum metals projects that include rhodium estimates — one is Impact.
Earlier drilling at Red Hill, one of Impact’s patches of ground, returned an intercept of 4.6 grams per tonne (g/t) rhodium in addition to 254g/t palladium and 10.4g/t platinum. Impact’s project is located in Broken Hill.
The other stock formally in the game is Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV). The company is better known for its Pilbara gold efforts, but it earned a big stake in a palladium project in 2018.
Munni Munni has a total resource of 23.6 million tonnes including 0.1g/t of rhodium, equating to 76,000oz. It also contains 1.1g/t of platinum and 1.5g/t of palladium amounting to 830,000oz and 1.1 million ounces respectively.