Mined in Russia and South Africa, it was first
used in decorative applications in ancient Egypt
more than 3,000 years ago.
Preferred for its remarkable strength and
longevity, the metal was used to adorn Egyptian
HISTORY OF PLATINUM
The South American Indians also made use of
platinum to decorate their artifacts. With the Spanish
conquest of South America, the metal's value was
diminished, as the Spanish people considered it to be
far inferior to silver.
It wasn't until the 1800s that platinum began to
reclaim its original status as a precious and treasured
Today, it's regarded as the premier choice for the
setting of fine diamonds and other gemstones.
HISTORY OF PLATINUM
ATOMIC SYMBOL Pt
APPEARANCE Silvery white
ELEMENT CATEGORY Transition metal
ATOMIC WEIGHT 195.084
ELECTRONIC CONFIGURATION [Xe]4f14 5d9 6s1
PERIOD Period 6
MELTING POINT 2041.4 K (1768.3 °C, 3214.9 °F)
BOILING POINT 4098 K (3825 °C, 6917 °F)
CRYSTAL STRUCTURE FCC
PHYSICAL AND ATOMIC
Pure platinum is a lustrous, ductile, and malleable,
Platinum is more ductile than gold, silver or copper,
thus being the most ductile of pure metals, but it is less
malleable than gold.
The metal has excellent resistance to corrosion, is stable
at high temperatures and has stable electrical
Platinum reacts with oxygen slowly
at very high temperatures.
The most common oxidation states of
platinum are +2 and +4. The +1 and
+3 oxidation states are less common,
and are often stabilized by metal
bonding in bimetallic (or polymetallic)
Although elemental platinum is
generally unreactive, it dissolves in
hot aqua regia to give aqueous
chloroplatinic acid (H2PtCl6):
Pt + 4 HNO3 + 6 HCl → H2PtCl6 +
As a soft acid, platinum has a great affinity for
sulfur, such as on dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO);
numerous DMSO complexes have been reported
and care should be taken in the choice of reaction
Its physical characteristics and chemical stability
make it useful for industrial applications.
Its resistance to wear and tarnish is well suited to
use in fine jewelry.
The reason why platinum is today the most valuable of
precious metals is because it is required in so many industrial
It is estimated that one-fifth of everything we use either
contains platinum or requires platinum in its manufacture.
Among all the known modern uses of platinum, most of the
annual production is consumed by two dominant categories -
catalytic converters and fine jewelry.
Together, these two applications consume more than 70% of
the world's supply of platinum.
The best known use of platinum is in the catalytic
converter that is part of the exhaust system in the
Platinum is now regarded as more prestigious than gold.
Its rarity, hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant properties and its
ability to repeatedly be heated and cooled without permanent
hardening makes platinum the ideal choice for creating the finest
Many diamond engagement rings are now fashioned out of
platinum because its luster makes it far superior to gold in
bringing out the brilliance of diamonds.
Fuel cells generate electrical power using hydrogen and
oxygen as fuel.
The most common type of fuel cell is the proton
exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, which contains
Besides being used to power automobiles, PEM fuel cells
can also be used in power generation for buildings,
instead of batteries or generators in portable equipment.
Platinum's excellent catalytic properties also extend
to another important industry - the petroleum
Platinum mesh or gauze is used in cracking
processes in oil refineries. Platinum catalysts play a
critical role in extracting gasoline from crude oil and
for making high octane fuels.
The most common use of platinum is as a catalyst in chemical
reactions, often as platinum black.
Platinum is also used in catalytic reforming of straight-run
naphthas into higher-octane gasoline that becomes rich in
PtO2, also known as Adams' catalyst, is used as a
hydrogenation catalyst, specifically for vegetable oils.
Platinum also strongly catalyzes the decomposition of
hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.
Demand for platinum mainly comes from the autocatalyst
industry followed by Jewelry, glass, electronics, petroleum
and other industries.
India is the 4th largest consumer of Platinum jewelry
in the world.
India’s consumption of platinum in 2008-09 was
around 932kgs, which saw a huge rise to around
1200kgs in 2009-10.
Pure platinum costs approximately INR 2,074.56
Exports and Imports are done with Platinum
mostly in the form of 7110 - Platinum, unwrought
or in semi- manufactured form, or in powder form.
Pt is exported for spare parts of machinery for
textile industry and Winding machine.
Majorly through airways to Israel, Spain, United
Kingdom and USA.
India imports platinum from South Africa, China
and United Kingdom through sea and from
Belgium, Thailand, Germany, Singapore and
Netherlands through air.
Major quantity of Platinum is imported from South
1. Anglo Platinum - 2,378,600 ozs (SA and Zimbabwe)
1. Impala Platinum - 1,582,000 ozs (SA and Zimbabwe)
1. Lonmin plc - 687,372 ozs (North SA)
1. Norilsk Nickel - 683,000 ozs (Russia, Botswana and
1. Aquarius Platinum Ltd. - 418,461 ozs (SA and
5 BIGGEST PLATINUM
PRODUCERS IN THE WORLD
Platinum is always found alongside other PGMs.
Platinum and PGM ores are found in Canada, South
Africa, Russia, and the United States.
In South Africa's Bushveld complex and a limited
number of other ore bodies, PGMs occur in sufficient
In Russia's Norilsk and Canada's Sudbury deposits
platinum and other PGMs are extracted as by-
products of Ni and Cu.
WHERE TO FIND
Most common minerals containing Platinum-group
1. Sulfides: Braggite (Pt,Pd)S, Cooperite- PtS, Laurite,
Ru and unnamed Pt, Rh, Cu and S minerals
2. Pt-Fe Metallics: Isoferroplatinum, Pt3Fe,
3. Arsenides: PtAs2 (Sperrylite)
4. Tellurides: PtTe2
Extracting Platinum from these ores is arguably one
of the most capital and labor intensive operations in
On average, it takes up to six months and up to 12
tonnes of ore to produce 31.135 grams of pure
However, in mining using 4.5 tonnes of ore to
produce one gram of platinum would not be
The extraction process before a mine is even opened
the potential site is explored and assessed for
viability, in other words, is it profitable to extract the
metal from the ore.
Assuming that this process demonstrates the
commercial viability the mining operation is
established, the actual process can begin.
1. Gravity Separation
1. Froth Floatation
1. Drying and Purification
MAJOR STEPS FOR
Crusher and Mill
Electric Furnace for
Drying and Purification
Pt containing ores:
Sperrylite and Cooperite
solid ore Water and
Air Fe and S Impurities
Fe and Ni Impurities
Conc. HCl and HNO3
Ni, Co, Cu
Aqua Regia (Dissolved Pt)
Sent for burning to remove other
Impurities and pure Pt (97%) is
92-97% TO 99.99%
The increased use of Knelson density separators
instead of gravity separators.
The use of Nitrogen instead of air in the flotation
cells improving metal recoveries.
The oxidative pressure leaching of concentrates to
efficiently recover the contained PGMs at high
concentration in the residue.
Platinum as a metal is not very dangerous, but platinum
salts can cause several health effects, such as:
1. DNA alterations
3. Allergic reactions of the skin and the mucous membrane
4. Damage to organs, such as intestines, kidneys and bone
5. Hearing damage
Finally, a danger of platinum is that it can cause potentiation
of the toxicity of other dangerous chemicals in the human
body, such as selenium.
HEALTH EFFECTS OF
Platinum is emitted into the air through the exhausts
of cars that use leaded gasoline.
Consequently, platinum levels in air may be higher
on certain locations, for instance in garages, in
tunnels and on terrains of trucking companies.
Micro-organisms may be able to convert platinum
substances to more dangerous substances in soils, but
on this subject we also have little information.
1. Extractive Metallurgy of Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum
Group Metals By Frank Crundwell, Michael Moats,
Venkoba Ramachandran, Timothy Robinson, W. G.
2. Mineral Processing Plant Design, Practice, and
Control Proceedings edited by Andrew L. Mular, Doug
N. Halbe, Derek John Barratt