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Top platinum miners join forces to tap investors

JOHANNESBURG: The world’s top platinum producers are teaming up to try to increase the metal’s standing as an investment asset and not just a primary material, the group’s representative told AFP Wednesday.

With platinum prices hovering near five year lows and mines hit by labour disputes, six firms accounting for 70 percent of global production have forged the World Platinum Investment Council.

Platinum is today traded primarily as a raw material, most commonly used in catalytic converters, jewellery and hard disk drives.

The London-based panel will work to develop an “active” investment market, compiling and publishing data every quarter on the market trends and provide analysis for investors.

“What we want to do is to provide them with a better understanding and a more transparent picture of the platinum market worldwide,” the council’s chief executive Paul Wilson told AFP.

Wilson claimed the investment potential of platinum has been largely overlooked.

“It is very attractive investment asset that has accumulated a lot of value over the last 20 to 30 years and it deserves a place in investment portfolios,” said Wilson.

Platinum “has grown in value more or less like gold and silver. It has grown in value faster than UK equities and certainly many types of equities worldwide,” he added.

Currently only about $10 billion of platinum is held as an investment worldwide, which is a “small proportion” of global commodities investment, for a “very competitive” metal, he said.

“We would like to get platinum into the precious metal indices,” which typically contain gold and silver, said Wilson.

The council plans to publish its first quarterly report on December 3.

South Africa-based miners Anglo American Platinum, Aquarius Platinum, Impala Platinum, Lonmin, Northam Platinum and Royal Bafokeng Platinum are members of the council. -AFP

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