There’s metal inside your neighbour’s car more valuable than gold #justsayin
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The theft of catalytic converters from car exhausts is mounting as the price of platinum group metals (PGMs) hit record highs.
Three to seven grams of platinum group metals (PGMs) — mostly platinum, palladium and rhodium – go in every catalytic converter, which sit in your car exhaust to reduce polluting emissions.
They look something like this:
You crack the outer casing open to get to the good part, filled with PGEs like platinum, palladium and rhodium:
Three to seven grams per convertor means you need a minimum of five catalytic convertors and a near-flawless extraction/recovery process to score one ounce of PGMs.
But that ounce – depending on the metal mix — could be worth a lot.
Platinum sells for $US1,155.53/oz, which is chump change next to palladium ($US2,368.60) and rhodium ($US25,500/oz).
Just check out these spicy 20-year price charts for palladium and rhodium:
If you’re think about going into the second-hand catalytic convertor business, omens are good.
Why? Nine straight years of ever-enlarging supply deficits.
The gap between mine production and consumption in 2020 alone was about 1 million ounces of palladium.
That’s why palladium has been holding up strongly in the high $US2,400s at a time when other precious metals, like gold, have come under some price pressure.
Zimbabwe-based Zimplats (ASX:ZIM) is the only ASX-listed PGE producer. In the December quarter it produced 67,000oz platinum, 57,500oz of palladium and 6000oz of rhodium at a total 6E cash cost of $US648/oz.
That’s a nice profit, based on current prices.
But world class PGE deposits – especially the palladium dominated ones — are extremely hard to find.
That’s what makes Chalice Mining’s (ASX:CHN) Julimar deposit in WA – which the company calls “Australia’s first major palladium discovery” — so special.
Numerous explorers are in the neighbourhood actively hunting for a palladium payday of their own.
They include Cassini/Caspin Resources, DevEx Resources (ASX:DEV), Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), Mandrake Resources (ASX:MAN), Anson Resources (ASX:ASN), Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL), Lachlan Star (ASX:LSA) and Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) … just to name a few.
The other palladium-rich explorer on the ASX is Impact Minerals (ASX:IPT), which is focused on the Broken Hill project in NSW.