The six platinum-group elements (PGMs) — platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and osmium — are mainly produced in South Africa, but they also have a growing presence across the globe in South America.
Platinum was first discovered in South America in 1735, and the rivers along the west coast of the continent are rich in the metal. In fact, all platinum came from South America until about 1820, when explorers found deposits in Russia and South Africa.
Here’s a look at three companies that are currently exploring for PGMs in South America.
Its main project is Serra Pelada, which is located in the Carajas region in Pará, Brazil, and contains high grades of both gold and PGMs. Colossus manages and operates the project, and, under an agreement with Brazilian cooperative company COOMIGASP, owns 75 percent of it; COOMIGASP has a 25-percent working interest.
Colossus has discovered that the highest grades of gold, platinum and palladium typically occur in the steeply dipping hinge of the main mineralized zone at Serra Pelada, where metasiltstone makes contact with decalcified carbonate (sandstone).
Most recently, on September 23, the company completed more than 7,200 feet of total development at Serra Pelada. Colossus plans to to achieve 1,000 tonnes per day of production at the project in the first quarter of 2014, the company announced in July.
TruLan Resources (OTC Pink:TRLR) has a 100-percent working interest in the 2,186-acre iron, gold and platinum IGP project, which is located in Chile’s IV Region in close proximity to eight known deposits.
IGP has indicated reserves of more than 247 million metric tons, as per TruLan’s website. Platinum samples collected from the project indicate an average grade of 0.27 grams per ton, the company reported in August. These calculations are based on 80-percent recovery using traditional recovery processes for a resource of 1.9 million ounces of mineable platinum.
TruLan recently acquired full ownership of the project, announcing on September 6 that it had been granted a 100-percent working interest.
GlobalMin and Mojave Gold
GlobalMin, a privately held mining exploration company based in Nevada, partnered with Mojave Gold in 2010 to develop a PGMs project in Guyana. Though the country is known for gold mining and production, Paul Lechler, former chief geochemist at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and manager of GlobalMin, is confident the area will prove rich in PGMs.
GlobalMin’s PGMs projects include the Kaburi anorthosite platinum deposit in the Kaburi River basin and the Merume River project. The Smenag dike project, located by the Mazaruni River, also may hold significant bedrock PGM sources, GlobalMin states on its website.
Editorial Disclosure: Colossus Minerals is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.