Two big themes dominated the Investing in African Mining Indaba, which drew more than 7,000 people to Cape Town this week, adding miners to the city's buzz of cricket (SA v England on Tuesday), tennis (Federer, Nadal et al on Friday) and classical music (cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Kirstenbosch on Saturday).

One big theme was platinum - or rather, the platinum group metals (PGMs), especially palladium, whose price has more than tripled over the past couple of years, and rhodium, whose price has more than quadrupled, as tougher emissions standards for cars lift demand for the metals used in autocatalysts.

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