Category Archives: Industrial Metals

bullion silver market

How the Growth of Solar Energy Will Boost Silver Demand

March 25th, 2018 by

One of the persistent themes of the world economy over the next decade or more will be the sustained growth of the market for renewable energy sources. Many investors may not realize that silver is one of the crucial components of the photovoltaic (PV) cells that make up solar panels. It cannot easily or economically […]

mutilated coin

Mutilated Coin Redemption Program Resumes at Mint

December 30th, 2017 by

Efforts to recycle trash are rarely controversial today, but the U.S. Treasury Department has found itself in this uncommon situation over the past few years. The problem centered around the United States Mint’s mutilated coin redemption program.


Palladium Best-Performing Commodity in 2017

August 20th, 2017 by

A large proportion of investors, even those who buy precious metals like gold and silver, have never even heard of the oft-forgotten fourth precious metal, palladium. Even its sister metal, platinum, is much more widely recognized. It was once fairly popular for high-end jewelry and, until recently, was historically more expensive than gold. However, now […]

Precious Metals In the Green Economy

August 9th, 2017 by

There is a great deal to look forward to with the use of precious metals in several of the fastest-growing areas of the economy. Silver features prominently not just in the biotech industry and other traditional industrial settings, but is also now an indispensable component of solar panels and mobile devices. The sister precious metal […]

Falling Platinum Price Hits South African Mines

June 14th, 2017 by

Platinum is grouped together with gold and silver, as well as its cousin palladium, under the umbrella of “precious metals.” However true, this somewhat obscures the fact that platinum is an increasingly useful industrial metal. As it transitions from being primarily used as an exotic precious metal investment into a key component in the automobile […]

New Tech, Products Shake Up Platinum

May 25th, 2017 by

Among the four precious metals, platinum is often overlooked even though it’s generally in close price parity to gold. This is because platinum is rarer, lacks gold’s unique properties that make it the easiest metal to work with, and thus has a much small global market. Nonetheless, it’s also a highly useful industrial metal. Its […]

Silver Supply May Be At-Risk

April 25th, 2017 by

Supply and demand are the essence of any market, and the precious metals are not excepted from this fact. This principle is particularly true of silver, however. More so than even gold, which has tremendous existing stockpiles that are frequently remelted (and endlessly loaned out), the price of silver is sensitive to disruptions in the mining industry.

The Forgotten Precious Metal

March 19th, 2017 by

Unless someone is deeply involved in the commodities trade or some specialized industrial process, they are probably unaware of the market for the somewhat obscure metal rhodium. Although it is sometimes used to coat white gold or silver jewelry, rhodium’s primary usefulness is as a catalyst in automobile exhaust systems. Unsurprisingly, it is a Platinum Group […]

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Toyota Puts Brakes On Platinum, Palladium

February 23rd, 2017 by

Platinum and palladium are grouped together with the precious metals, and they certainly enjoy a modest level of demand from investors looking for the diversity of a tangible asset. However, these two commodities are also appropriately classified as industrial metals—the primary industry using them being the manufacture of automobiles.

Lithium Startups Challenge Majors

February 2nd, 2017 by

2017 is shaping up to be the sixth year in a row where lithium production has fallen short of demand. 175,000 metric tons of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) was produced in 2016, compared to an estimated demand of 185,000 tons. With lithium metal prices tripling over the last three years, and electric vehicle (EV) sales […]

Solar to Surpass Natural Gas in U.S.

January 9th, 2017 by

There is no doubt that the question of how to generate cheap, clean, and sustainable energy will be one of the most pressing challenges for this generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. In the wake of the plunge and fluctuations of crude oil prices the past two years, much has been made of the attractiveness of […]

2017 platinum krugerrand

Outlook for South African Platinum, Palladium

December 15th, 2016 by

Along with Russia, South Africa is one of the world’s main sources of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs)—namely, platinum and palladium. In terms of the proportion of the annual global supply of these metals that South African mining provides, the totals are 40% for palladium and a staggering 70% for platinum. Nonetheless, it’s been a trying several […]

platinum crystals

Watching the Platinum-Palladium Ratio

November 16th, 2016 by

Much is made of the gold-silver ratio—the spread between the price of gold and its precious metal cousin, silver. Indeed, because of silver’s considerable industrial applications, this price ratio helps alert observers to trends in economics and the financial markets. At the same time, it can offer investing opportunities, as well. More often overlooked is […]

Investing In Platinum

November 10th, 2016 by

Platinum shares a kinship with silver in that both metals are simultaneously industrial metals and precious metals. This creates interesting dynamics in the supply and demand for platinum in ways that differ from gold.

2017 platinum krugerrand

South Africa Issues Silver, Platinum Krugerrands for 50th Anniversary

October 20th, 2016 by

It’s not entirely surprising that in addition to enjoying vast precious metal deposits, South Africa has long been a world-leader in the international gold coin market. The flagship South African Gold Krugerrand was the first modern bullion coin available on the global market in 1967. Krugerrands quickly ended up displacing out-of-issue British gold sovereigns as […]

Platinum Strike at Implats Over

October 5th, 2016 by

A source of possible upward pressure on the platinum price has been lifted with the two-year wage agreement reached between Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP), often called Implats, and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in South Africa.

Trouble for South African Platinum

September 6th, 2016 by

South Africa is consistently among the world’s top platinum producers each year. It is a country endowed with a wealth of natural resources—especially the precious metals gold and platinum. In fact, South Africa is probably the most resource-rich region anywhere in the world. Not surprisingly, the South African economy is reliant upon its mining industries. […]

Recovering Precious Metals From Waste

August 18th, 2016 by

The idea of extracting precious metals from waste sounds like a brilliant enterprise in theory. Most commonly, this is done with recycling scrap gold or broken electronics (which contain small amounts of gold in their components). One company thinks it has finally found a nontoxic way of extracting precious metal content from electronic waste (e-waste).