In a windowless room in the most secure part of Lonmin’s precious-metals refinery is a machine about the size of a microwave oven. While small and ordinary looking, it is the foundation of what could be a significant breakthrough in the use of platinum group metals.

The “oven”, which is actually a specially configured laser-based 3-D printing machine, is the culmination of three years of work at Lonmin to develop the high-purity platinum powder and the correct settings of the machine to print or make objects out of platinum. Lonmin is a forerunnner in the race to crack open the technology.

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, Morningstar 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.