The 10 Biggest Platinum Producers 2014

The world's largest platinum refiners

Total refined production of platinum - including recycled material - was estimated to be 7.225 million ounces in 2014. 

This represented a roughly eight percent decrease from 2013, which was the result of a five-month-long strike by workers at South Africa's three largest platinum mining companies. 

The strike by 70,000 workers resulted in an estimated loss of over 1 million ounces of platinum and lost revenues of about US$ 2.3 billion. 

The 10 largest producers of platinum accounted for some 5.14 million ounces in 2014, or over 70 percent of total global production. 

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), again, topped the list of the world's largest producers, refining 1.89 million ounces of the metal. 

Despite the long work stoppage in South Africa, the high concentration of platinum group metals (PGMs) found in the country ensured it remained the single largest source for platinum, accounting for 60 percent of all mine production. 

The production statistics below are compiled from company annual and operation reports available from producer websites (fiscal year 2014). Refined platinum production numbers for each company can be found beside the company's name and are indicated in troy ounces (oz). 

1
Anglo American Platinum - 1,890,000 oz

AngloPlatinum

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) is the PGM production unit of the mining giant Anglo American. 

Amplats' eight PGM operations consist of managed mines, joint venture mines and associated mines that are spread across South Africa and Zimbabwe. Mines extract ore from the Merensky and UG2 reefs, the Platreef and the Main Sulphide Zone. 

Despite production dropping by 20 percent from the year prior, the company remained the world's largest platinum producer, accounting for over one-quarter of all refined platinum production in 2014. 

Company Profile: Anglo American plc
Company Website: www.angloamerican.com/

2
Impala Platinum - 1,180,000 oz

Impala Platinum
© Implats

Impala Platinum's (Implats) platinum mining operations are concentrated around the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe.

In 2014, the company accounted for over 16 percent of global refined platinum. Implat's five main operations are Impala, Zimplats, Marula, Mimosa, and Two Rivers. 

While 85 percent of Implats' PGM production is from these primary, mine sources, the remaining material is sourced from third parties as part of toll treatment and recycling contracts. 

Company Profile: Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.
Company Website: www.implats.co.za

3
Norilsk Nickel - 657,000 oz

Norilsk Nickel Platinum

Unaffected by the strike in South Africa, Norilsk Nickel's refined platinum production remained fairly steady from 2013. A slight increase in output and the decline in production at Lonmin moved Norilsk from fourth to third on the list of top platinum producers.

Norilsk Nickel, which is the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium, extracts precious and platinum group metals as by-products from mines in northern Russia and Botswana. 

The company realized an average platinum price of US $1,388 per ounce in 2014. 

Company Profile: Norilsk Nickel
Company Website: www.nornik.ru/en

4
Lonmin plc - 436,000 oz

Lonmin platinum

According to the company, Lonmin plc lost over 391,000 ounces of platinum due to the South African mineworkers strike in 2014. 

Production dropped 40 percent from 2013 to 436,000 ounces, and the company dropped one position from the third to fourth largest producer. 

Lonmin's operations cover 215,000 square kilometers around Marikana. Eight concentrators, a smelter, and base metal refinery serve the underground and opencast mine. 

Company website: www.lonmin.com

5
Stillwater Mining - 285,000 oz

Stillwater mining platinum

Stillwater Mining Company is the only American-based miner of PGMs and the largest primary producer outside of South Africa and Russia. 

Headquartered in Billings, Stillwater Mining extracts platinum, palladium, and rhodium from two mines located on the J-M Reef in south-central Montana. 

Ore from the mine is concentrated as filtercake at the company's smelter in Columbus and then shipped to Johnson Matthey for final processing. 

The company also recycles PGMs from spent catalytic converters and other industrial sources. In 2014, 57 percent of Stillwater's platinum was produced from recycled sources. 

Company Website: www.stillwatermining.com

6
Northam Platinum Ltd. - 241,000

Northam platinum

Northam Platinum operates the Zondereinde and Booysendal PGM mines as well as a metallurgical facility and smelter located in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa. 

Although impacted by some strike action in 2014, Northam Platinum was not as impacted by the five-month strike that affected Amplats and Implats. In fact, Northam Platinum saw an increase in platinum sales from 212,000 ounces in 2013 to 241,000 ounces in 2014. 

The company's PGM concentrates are refined by Hereaus in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and Hanau, Germany, while Northam Platinum is responsible for sales of the platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold, silver, ruthenium, and iridium

Company Website: http://www.northam.co.za/

Note: Production number based on reported sales per metal ounce. 

7
Aquarius Platinum - 184,150 oz

Aquarius Platinum

Aquarius Platinum operates the Kroondal mine and Mimosa mines in South Africa's Bushveld Complex.

The Kroondal mine is a 50:50 pool and share agreement that Aquarius owns with Amplats, while the Mimosa mine is a 50:50 joint venture with Implats. 

Aquarius also runs the Platinum Mile retreatment facility where PGMs are extracted from tailings streams of various platinum and chrome mining operations in the area around Kroondal. 

PGM concentrates are sold to Rustenburg Platinum Mines Ltd. and Centametal AG (Switzerland) on life-of-mine contracts for smelting and refining.

Company website: http://aquariusplatinum.com

Note: Production numbers based on production attributable to Aquarius from the Kroondal and Mimosa mines (50 percent each).

8
Vale SA - 182,000 oz

vale sa platinum

The Brazilian iron ore giant Vale extracts platinum and palladium, as well as gold, silver, and cobalt, as by-products from its Sudbury, Canada nickel mine. 

Following an eight percent increase in 2013, platinum production from the mine increased an additional 25 percent in 2014, from 145,000 ounces to 182,000 ounces. 

PGM and precious metals concentrates are first processed at a facility in Port Colborne, Ontario, before they are sent to Vale's refinery in Acton, England, where they are processed into high-purity products.  

Company Profile: Vale SA
Company Website: http://www.vale.com/

9
Glencore plc - 91,000 oz

glencore platinum

Glencore extracts platinum, palladium, and rhodium as by-products from nickel sulfide ores in Canada's Sudbury basin, as well as from the Eland and Mototolo mines, which are located along the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex. 

The Eland and Mototolo mines were acquired as a result of the company's merger with Xstrata in 2013. The Mototolo mine is a joint venture with Anglo Platinum. 

91,000 ounces of platinum were refined by the company in 2014, up one percent from 2013. 

Company Website: www.glencorexstrata.com

10
Asahi Holdings - 44,800 oz

Asahi Holdings platinum

Asahi Holdings is a Japanese precious metals recycling company that collects, recovers and refines PGMs and precious metals. 

Based on its reported total platinum sales value for 2014, it is estimated that the company refined nearly 45,000 ounces in 2014. This would reflect a 20 percent increase over 2013. 

Company Website: www.asahiholdings.com

Note: Production number based on total platinum sales for 2014 divided by the average market price for platinum for the year. 

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