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New platinum group metals demand may be on way in energy generation and storage

Platinum Group Metals CEO Frank Hallam

Platinum Group Metals CEO Frank Hallam

22nd November 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – New demand for platinum group metals (PGMs) may be created in the energy generation and storage field, Toronto- and New York-listed Platinum Group Metals (PTM) stated on Wednesday.

The unique properties of PGMs as powerful catalysts are being applied to various technologies as possible solutions for more efficient energy generation and storage, PTM, headed by CEO Frank Hallam, stated in a release to Mining Weekly.

Highlighted in the 2023 annual results document was PTM’s battery technology initiative, which has reached an advanced stage in partnership with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).

Lion Battery Technologies has engaged the Battery Innovation Center in the US to help drive commercialisation of its next generation platinum- and palladium-based battery chemistries.

Lion is advancing both proprietary lithium-sulphur and enhanced lithium-ion, or NMC, technology using the catalytic properties of platinum and palladium.

The Lion battery technology initiative with partner Amplats involves a potential entry of PGMs into the high-profile lithium battery research and innovation field.

Lion's target is to develop batteries with specific energies that are 20% to 100% higher than current technologies while meeting or exceeding their present cycle lives.

The investment in Lion creates a potential vertical integration with a broader industrial market development strategy to bring new technologies to market which use palladium and platinum.

Research and development efforts by Florida International University on behalf of Lion are ongoing. Technical results from Lion's research may have application to most lithium-ion battery chemistries and the scope of Lion's research work is being expanded.

Independent small- and large-scale trials to validate Lion's proprietary platinum- and palladium-based electrode composition, slurry, and films in both lithium-sulphur and lithium-ion coin and pouch cells are being conducted.

WATERBERG PROJECT

PTM is focussed on advancing the Waterberg project, located on the northern limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.

The near-term objectives of the Waterberg project, planned as a mechanised, shallow, decline access palladium, platinum, gold and rhodium mine, are to take a development and construction decision, along with construction financing and concentrate offtake agreements.

As of November 21, the directors, and shareholders of Waterberg JV Resources have been in the process of approving a Stage 3 budget of $1.62-million for continued work on the Waterberg project.

The Stage 3 budget – from September 1, 2023, to February 29, 2024 – is a subcomponent of the $21-million work programme approved in principle last year.

PTM has reported the closing of a non-brokered private placement of common shares at a price of $1.18 a share. An aggregate of 2 118 645 common shares were issued to existing major beneficial shareholder, South Africa’s Hosken Consolidated Investments, through its subsidiary Deepkloof Limited, resulting in gross proceeds to the company of $2.5-million.

Closing of the private placement allowed Hosken, headed by CEO Johnny Copelyn, to return to a near 27% interest in PTM.

Japan Organisation for Metals and Energy Security, known as Jogmec, and Hanwa have established a special purpose company to hold and fund their future equity interests in the Waterberg project.

The combined interests of Jogmec (12.195%) and Hanwa (9.755%) were consolidated into a 21.95% interest going forward.

Many exploration boreholes sunk have intercepted PGMs mineralisation consistent as part of the Waterberg project, which is being jointly developed with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Impala Platinum together with Mnombo, Jogmec and Hanwa.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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