Precious Metal Awareness
October 31, 2018
Please make a mental note on the following:
- Are you reading this through contact lenses?
- Have you had Lasik surgery?
- Have you shaved any part of your body this week?
- Do you ever make use of a cell phone, tablet or computer?
- Is your home insulated with fiberglass?
- Do you ever travel by plane, car or by boat?
- Have you ever taken ibuprofen?
- Do you know anyone who has a pacemaker?
- Do you know any ladies who wear pantyhose?
- Ever fertilize your garden?
- Ever use a sticky note?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, you have Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) to thank and at least a few creative minds somewhere in history. These are but a few of the ways that this group of elements has changed and continues to change the quality of human life around the world. It is now estimated that 25% of all consumer products contain or were made using PGMs.
On average, about ten tons of ore is needed to generate one ounce of platinum; in other words, the ratio of rock to platinum is 300,000:1. The grand total of all PGMs ever mined is estimated to be only 20,000 MT; seventy-five percent of that was in the last 30 years…and sixty percent was in the last 20 years.
If we could somehow gather up all of the platinum ever mined in human history it would fit inside a four-bedroom house. And the abundance of palladium in the Earth’s crust is estimated to be less than 10 parts per trillion, making it one of the ten rarest elements on Earth. It is 30 times rarer than gold.
|In terms of the number of platinum ounces recycled and refined each year, if Sabin Metal were a platinum mine, it would be the sixth largest in the world.|
Precious metals are likely among the most recycled substances on planet earth, as their value makes it worth someone’s time and effort to retrieve from whatever form they make take.
If each person reading this column wrote down their top ten priorities for the Human Race, there would certainly be a bit of disagreement. It is likely, however, that the vast majority of people would have the following topics somewhere on their lists. Platinum Group Metals are at the forefront, the absolute cutting edge, of all three:
- Conservation (pollution control, wise management of natural resources): automotive catalysts and industrial filtration units that reduce emissions
- Energy (both creating energy and improving performance): fuel cells, gasoline, jet fuels, platinum-tipped spark plugs
- World Health (disease prevention and cure): cancer treatments, medical devices and pharmaceutical products that contain PGM or are made using PGMs, the man-made rubies and other gems used to create precision lasers for surgery are grown using platinum
The metals we call ‘precious’ were originally given that title based on their beauty. They are shiny and people have always liked shiny things. This made these metals highly sought after, which in turn made them valuable. They’re still considered valuable for aesthetic reasons, but as described herein, there are many much greater reasons.
The Take-Away: Make sure your precious metals end up with a responsible recycler, root out and eliminate the unethical and the wasteful, and forge global partnerships; allow for fair margins, invest in research and development; discard perceived limitations and challenge what is ‘normal’.
At Sabin, we believe that long-term wisdom and meaningful innovation is best for business, and as a result, it is what is best for the society of Mankind. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, or any of the other
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The Sabin Metal group of companies is celebrating their 75th Anniversary in 2020.. Based in the United States and with sales/service offices around the world, Sabin is the largest privately owned precious metals refining organization in North America. Sabin provides customers with logistical support, precious metal financial services, pre-reclaim kilning and some of the most sophisticated facilities in the world for safely and responsibly processing, sampling and refining precious metal-bearing catalysts.