Add These Metals to the Crisis List

News just now that police in South Africa are once again using force on striking mine workers.

The move follows a shut-down at Amplats’ Rustenburg mine. One that saw the country’s government, business and labor leaders rushing into emergency meetings last week.

As we’ve discussed, the crisis state of South African mining has huge implications for platinum. The nation produced 71.5% of global platinum output in 2012. Along with 36% of palladium. If this production is impacted, it may well create the worst supply crisis we’ve seen in metals markets for a long time.

But fewer investors realize just how many other metals are dependant on South African output.

The nation produces 46% of the world’s chromium. 35% of vanadium. 22% of manganese. 17% of titanium. (And for you minor minerals fans, it also puts out 53% of global kyanite, 34% of vermiculite, and 28% of zirconium and hafnium).

That’s a lot of metal to lose. What happens in South Africa over the next few weeks is going to be critical.

Here’s to diversified supply,

Dave Forest

dforest@piercepoints.com / @piercepoints / Facebook

 

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