The Biggest Palladium Producers
The world's top 8 palladium producers
Palladium is a member of the platinum group of metals and is considered a white metal, which is a term used to describe alloys that are lighter in color. Palladium can resist chemical erosion and intense heat as well as being electrically stable. The metal is used in electronic components, jewelry, and surgical instruments.
Palladium is considered a precious metal, and as a result, prices can fluctuate depending on supply and demand forces. The total primary refined palladium output was around 7.54 million ounces or approximately 214 tons (or 214t) in 2017. Demand for palladium autocatalysts has increased investment demand for the precious metal.
The production statistics below are compiled from company annual and operation reports available from producer's websites. Some of the statistics are from either 2017 or 2018, depending on when the company's fiscal year ended. Refined palladium production numbers for each company can be found beside the company's name. Some companies include palladium in their overall totals for PGM or Platinum Group Metals.
Norilsk Nickel - 3,500,000 ozs
MMC Norilsk Nickel ("Norilsk") is the world's largest producer of nickel (accounting for 17 percent of global production) and palladium (41 percent), and a top ten producer of copper. The company extracts precious and platinum group metals as by-products from its mines on the Taimyr and Kola Peninsulas (both in Russia) as well as from mines in Botswana and South Africa. Norilsk, Russia's largest mining company, also extracts and refines cobalt, silver, gold, tellurium, and selenium as by-products.
Company Profile: Norilsk Nickel
Company Website: Norilsk Nickel
Anglo Platinum - 1,600,000 ozs
The assets of Anglo American Platinum Limited (Amplats) consist of 11 managed mines, as well as a number of joint-venture mines and associated mines across South Africa and in Zimbabwe. Most of the ore from these mines are processed at one of Amplats' 14 own concentrators before being smelted at one of the company's three refineries in South Africa. Total refined palladium production rose 14% from in 2017 from 2016.
Impala Platinum - 849,000 ozs
Impala Platinum's (Implats) operations are focused around the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. The company's primary operational unit is on the western limb of the Complex near Rustenburg. Implats also owns a 73 percent stake in Marula on the eastern limb. In Zimbabwe, the company operates Zimplats and has an interest in Mimosa Platinum.
Impala Refining Services (IRS) smelts and refines the metal from the company's own ore as well as material purchased from third-party companies. Impala produced 849,000 ozs of palladium by the end of the company's fiscal year on June 30, 2018.
Lonmin PLC - 330,000 ozs
Lonmin was initially incorporated as the London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company Ltd. (Lonrho) in 1909. The company's primary operations - the Marikana mine - is located on the western limb of the Bushveld complex. Ore extracted by Lonmin is sent to Lonmin's process division where base metals, including copper and nickel, are extracted before it is refined to metal along with other platinum group metals, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, and iridium.
Company website: Lonmin PLC
Sibanye Gold Limited - 260,000 ozs
Sibanye Gold Limited acquired Stillwater Mining Company in 2017 forming Sibanye Stillwater.
The vast majority of Sibanye's palladium production is done through Stillwater, which main assets are located along the 28-mile-long J-M Reef ore body in Montana. The location consists primarily of palladium, platinum and a minor amount of rhodium. Stillwater Mining Company operates two underground mines - East Boulder and Stillwater - along the J-M Reef. Concentrates from the mine sites, along with crushed catalyst material for recycling, are processed at the company’s smelter in Columbus, Montana.
Sibanye also acquired Aquarius Platinum Ltd. in April of 2016, which brought under its mining umbrella interests in seven properties in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Company Website: Sibanye Stillwater.
Vale SA - 250,000 ozs
Vale SA is the world's largest second-largest mining company, the leading producer of iron ore and pellets and the world's second-biggest nickel producer. As many nickel ores also contain PGMs, Vale can extract palladium as a by-product of its nickel refining process. The company takes PGM containing concentrates from its Sudbury, Canada operations to a processing facility in Port Colborne, Ontario, which produces PGMs, gold, and silver intermediate products. These, along with recyclable and toll treated materials from unrelated parties, are sent to Vale's refinery in Acton, England, where they are processed into high-purity products.
North American Palladium - 200,000 ozs
North American Palladium, along with Stillwater Mining, are the only primary palladium producers in the world. The company operates the Lac des Iles (LDI) mine, located in northern Ontario, which began production in 1993. The LDI mine is currently undergoing expansion with North American Palladium targeting a production level of 250,000 ounces of palladium per year after completion.
Company website: North American Palladium
Northam - 300,000 ozs PGM
Northam is an integrated PGM producer with operations in focused around the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. The company's primary facility is the wholly-owned Zondereinde platinum mine and metallurgical complex, which extracts roughly 300,000 ozs of PGM concentrate annually. Toll refining for PGM concentrate takes place under contract with WC Heraeus (Germany) and is delivered on a weekly basis to Heraeus' Hanau facility where platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold, silver, ruthenium and iridium are all separated. Working with Heraeus, Northam also refines and markets PGMs extracted from Platmin's Pilanesberg Mine.
Company Website: Northam