Russia, South Africa Plan Platinum-Industry Talks to Buoy Prices

Russia and South Africa will next year invite platinum-group metal producers and users for talks as the countries seek ways to support falling prices.

The two nations, holding about 80 percent of the world’s reserves of the metals, met on Nov. 6 in Pretoria “to collaborate on technology development and jointly exploring new applications for the metal” to grow demand, Phuti Mabelebele, a spokeswoman for South Africa’s mines ministry, said today in an e-mailed response to questions.

The parties agreed to arrange a conference in the second half of 2015 to which it will invite mining companies, traders and consumers to “jointly consider appropriate options to achieve stability and sustainable growth,” Mabelebele said.

Platinum prices have tumbled more than 20 percent since Russia and South Africa said in March 2013 that they were looking for ways to buoy the market. Palladium gained about 8 percent in that period. South Africa mines about 70 percent of the world’s platinum and Russia 40 percent of its palladium.

The countries will meet for separate talks about the issue in the first quarter of 2015 in Russia, Mabelebele said.

The largest producers, including Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Ltd., and Lonmin Plc, met in Johannesburg today to discuss ways of preventing illegal sales of precious metals, OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel said in a statement on its website. The meeting endorsed Norilsk’s proposal to find ways of identifying metals, which could help to control the theft of refined metal and prevent illegal sales, the company said.

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