Albany, OR: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9303, 1991 Jan; :1-27
World resources of platinum-group metals appear ample for the foreseeable future; however, political and economic events in the last two decades have caused concern over the availability and reliability of an uninterrupted supply. Because of this concern, the U.S. Congress requested that the U.S. Bureau of Mines initiate a study of the flow of platinum-group metals in the economy that would delineate and quantify the production areas in which metal values are lost. As a result, the Bureau has developed a computerized commodity flow model for strategic and critical materials. Major attributes of this flow model follow: (1) it is generic and applicable to most commodities and (2) it can be updated as supply, demand, and/or production data change. The original model developed for cobalt, with slight modifications, was used to track the flow of platinum-group metals. This report follows the flow of platinum- group metals through their metallurgical, catalytic, and chemical applications and highlights areas in which significant losses occur because of downgrading, export, or disposal. The study indicates that materials containing about 63,426 kg of platinum-group metals were lost or could not be traced in 1989, representing about 63 pct of U.S. domestic consumption.
Albany, OR: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9303