Precious Metals

How a looming mine strike may impact platinum prices

The duration of a potential strike by South African miners will determine the impact on platinum prices.

Background image courtesy of; platinum ore image courtesy of

The threat of a strike by platinum miners in South Africa who are seeking higher wages and improved working conditions could modestly impact the price of the precious metal, according to Metals Focus, which bills itself as "The Independent Precious Metals Consultancy."

The latest Precious Metals Weekly suggests that any increase in the price of platinum as the result of a strike would be short-lived, based on the expectation that any strike, if called, would be limited in duration.

South Africa is the world’s largest producer of platinum.

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The latest five-year-platinum group metals report from Metals Focus forecasts a 623,000-ounce shortfall in platinum during 2016, still leaving a sizeable worldwide inventory of 7.7 million ounces, an 11-month supply to meet current demand.

The price of platinum will likely be aligned with the performance of gold as it has for most of 2016, according to Metals Focus.

For more information, email Metals Focus director Charles de Meester or telephone him at +44 7809 125 334.

A busy year in the platinum market

Apart from the developments reported on by Metals Focus, 2016 has been eventful for those following the platinum coin market. 

In May, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) and Valcambi announced a partnership to increase the availability of platinum bar and coin products for the global retail market, including to those participating in the U.S. retail market. 

Meanwhile at the U.S. Mint, American Eagle platinum bullion coins were made available for the first time since 2014 on July 25.

One month later, on Aug. 26, the last 2016 American Eagle platinum bullion coins were sold.

The Proof version of the 2016 American Eagle platinum coin sold out in 56 minutes on June 30.

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