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Palladium could become 'more valuable than gold': Friedland

As the Platreef project in South Africa reached a development milestone yesterday, Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) executive co-chairman Robert Friedland moved to address some investors’ concerns about the current price of platinum.
Palladium could become 'more valuable than gold': Friedland Palladium could become 'more valuable than gold': Friedland Palladium could become 'more valuable than gold': Friedland Palladium could become 'more valuable than gold': Friedland Palladium could become 'more valuable than gold': Friedland

Flatreef ore reaches the surface at Platreef

Staff reporter

Platinum prices have been on the wane this year, with the NYMEX price averaging US$913 an ounce over the past 12 months and the price for January delivery at $824.90/oz.

Friedland said the company's 64%-owned Platreef also had "massive quantities" of palladium, nickel and copper, as well as rhodium and gold.

He said the steady surge in the price of palladium could see it become "more valuable than gold for the first time in 16 years", adding that rhodium prices were near eight-year highs.

The NYMEX palladium price has averaged US$976.64/oz over the past year and has risen to $1,066.30 for December delivery, while the gold price has slid to $1,189/oz on the spot market.

Ivanhoe said Platreef's Shaft 1 had reached the top of the high-grade Flatreef deposit, 780.2m below surface, and first ore had been delivered to a surface stockpile for metallurgical sampling.

Platreef's forecast initial, average annual production rate is 476,000oz of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold, plus 21 million pounds of nickel and 13Mlb of copper.

"We are confident that platinum, copper and nickel will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the accelerating global transition to electric vehicles and clean energy," Friedland said.

Toronto markets were closed for Thanksgiving yesterday. Ivanhoe last traded at C$2.94, capitalising it over $2.9 billion.

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