For this webinar, LBMA handed over to LPPM for a conversation on PGMs and recycling operations.
David Jollie and Justin Froneman shared their insights on the industry. David asked Justin pertinent questions on how to balance recycling production with primary production, how price fluctuations can impact miners, and how the industry will progress over the coming years.
Justin discussed how the purchase of Stillwater by Sibanye – to become known as Sibanye-Stillwater – was initially driven by growing geographical diversification and providing access to an asset. The recycling was a nice add-on, said Justin, but at the time it wasn’t a strategic driver of the purchase.
“Now secondary supply has been outpacing primary production,” continued Justin. “We expect this to continue but are seeing some downstream and processing issues. We are finding there are some external factors that are becoming bottlenecks, mainly how to deal with one of the substrates - silicon carbide. This is an industry-wide problem. The recycling network is very much a ‘cash on delivery’ business, so you do need deep pockets and lots of working capital.”
Talk soon turned to the markets, including how fluctuating rhodium prices impact production, capacity constraints, and managing customers’ perceptions of recycled material. “Our customers appreciate that the metal is green. By following responsible sourcing guidelines and committing to KYC rules we are passing that confidence to our customers who can consider this a premium product. That narrative has definitely changed.”
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