Gold and silver have been considered stable investments for many centuries. Now the remaining precious metals are also becoming more and more interesting tangible assets; the platinum group metals. Prices for raw materials have exploded in recent months. This not only drove up the number of thefts of car catalysts, which contain, for example, precious rhodium and palladium, the Heraeus Edelmetall Bulletin explicitly pointed out the potential of iridium as a material asset in mid-October.
The Industry Needs Platinum Group Metals
As with technology metals and rare earths, the industry’s demand for platinum, palladium, iridium and ruthenium is growing steadily. Platinum group metals are important for a more climate-neutral society. Platinum is processed in the hydrogen fuel cell, which is considered by many to be the future of mobility. The special properties of iridium (hardness, corrosion resistance and high melting point) make the raw material attractive for a selection of applications. Iridium, for example, increases the performance of platinum in fuel cells. Palladium succeeds in converting pollutants into carbon dioxide and water in exhaust gases. At the same time, platinum group metals are needed by the high-tech industry. Ruthenium is used in hard drive manufacturing. The raw material increases the storage capacity and is therefore essential for the production of powerful memory cards for crypto mining.
While the availability on the market is limited for strategic metals, the occurrence of platinum group metals the earth’s crust itself is actually rare. For example, the entire worldwide platinum deposit corresponds to a cube with a side length of four meters. Iridium is five times rarer than platinum. The occurrences are limited to a few countries. These factors make platinum group metals, such as strategic metals, a potential, little-known tangible asset for diversifying the investment portfolio.