Miner Tharisa aims to produce its own high-value platinum group metals (PGMs) within the next five years, unshackling itself from an offtake agreement and realising a 17 percentage point improvement in the prices it will receive. Tharisa, which mines PGMs and chrome near Brits in North West, is testing its furnace technology to produce a PGM-rich iron alloy and will conduct further work on a hydrometallurgical process to generate a concentrate that will sell for 97% of the value of the metal it contains.

Existing offtake agreements with major producers like Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin — the only companies with smelting and refining plants in SA’s PGM industry — pay about 80% of the value of the metal to smaller companies. Tharisa has made impressive inroads into SA’s chrome and PGM industries, rising to fourth and seventh-largest in just a few years from its single mine. Now that it is on track to reach its 2020 goals of 2-million tons of chrome a year ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now