The United Kingdom has imposed sanctions on Russia’s platinum and palladium, which are key components in the automotive and transmission industries

As the 27 countries struggle to agree on a sixth set of sanctions to be imposed on Russia in a bid to stop the invasion of Ukraine, the British government decided on Sunday to unleash a new barrage of trade sanctions against Russia and its ally Belarus. .

Thus, the United Kingdom will increase tariffs on imports by 35%, mainly platinum and palladium, from Russia and Belarus with a total of 1.7 billion pounds ($2.10 billion) in trade, with the aim of drying up the financing of trade exchanges. Russian invading army.

“This massive package of sanctions will further damage Russia’s war machine,” International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said in a statement.

For the transition, the requirements for platinum and palladium will increase tenfold

Palladium is an essential metal in the automotive industry for the manufacture of catalytic converters. On the other hand, platinum has gained increasing importance as a substitute for palladium, and thus through its role in the energy transition. Not only is it necessary For the hydrogen synthesis process, but it is also important for hydrogen vehicles especially those that run on a fuel cell: for the manufacture of the latter, it is You will need 5 to 10 times more platinum than a classic internal combustion engine car.

On the export front, the UK targets goods destined for Russia’s manufacturing and heavy machinery sectors, such as chemicals, plastics, rubber and machinery, with a total value of 250 million pounds ($310 million).

Palladium near all-time highs, buoyed by fears of Russian supply withdrawals

Russia relies heavily on the United Kingdom for these exports

Russia is one of the most important producing countries platinum and palladium The government stressed that it relies heavily on the UK to export “these products.

The CEO announced shortly after a meeting at the G7 with Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, in the presence of Boris Johnson and Joe Biden in particular, that these sanctions relate to property worth 1.7 billion pounds (about 2 billion euros). The total value of goods targeted by trade sanctions has risen to more than 4 billion pounds since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said the sanctions will cause “Significant damage to Putin’s war effort.”

In previous waves of sanctions, the UK has sanctioned more than 1,000 individuals and more than 100 companies since the invasion.

(with AFP and Reuters)



What are MGPs?

Platinum group metals (PGMs) are six mineral elements with similar physical and chemical properties that tend to be found in the same mineral deposits. that’s it:

  • platinum
  • Palladium
  • rhodium
  • ruthenium
  • osmium
  • iridium


Main Producing Countries
Total global production of platinum is
195.7 tons in 2008 -> 153.8 tons in 2020
It is divided as follows:

  • South Africa: 148.3 tons (2008) -> 100.2 (2020)
  • Russia: 29.6 tons (2008) -> 19 tons. (2020)
  • Canada: 7.4 tons -> 6.1 tons
  • Zimbabwe: 4.4 t (2008) > 15.5 t (2020)
  • US: 4.1 -> 4.7

Note: the production of the European Union (Finland) is 0.858 tons.

(Number sources: Wikipedia for 2008 and Johnson Matthey for 2020)


Exhaust in 2064?

According to the current rate of consumption, it is estimated that platinum resources will deplete by 2064, because it is a non-renewable resource. (Source: Planetoscope)



PGMs have strong catalytic properties, that is, they can initiate or speed up a chemical process without undergoing permanent changes or consuming it. The main use of these metals is the manufacture of catalytic converters (used in vehicle exhaust systems with internal combustion engines).

Platinum and palladium are used in catalytic converters to reduce exhaust emissions from light vehicles, buses, and medium and heavy trucks, helping to improve air quality. Platinum and palladium are also used as investment mediums, to an extent.

Industrial uses for platinum include chemicals, glass, electronics, medical and biomedical equipment, petroleum refining, jewelry, and many more. Industrial applications such as chemicals, electronics, and dentistry dominate the end use of palladium.

Rhodium is added to three-way catalysts (platinum – palladium – rhodium) in light gasoline vehicles to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

End uses for iridium and ruthenium include chemicals, electronics, electrochemistry, and other industrial uses. The use of iridium and ruthenium is expected to increase in hydrogen production and fuel cells. (Source: Government of Canada – Canada is 3rd in palladium production and 4th in platinum).

Energy transition: these 10 strategic minerals that will see increased demand


The main mining producers (Platinum, numbers 2020)

  • Impala Platinum (South Africa): 47.1 tons
  • Anglo American Platinum: 37.1 tons
  • Sibanye Stillwater (which bought Lonmin in 2017): 33.4 tons
  • Nornickel: 21.6 tons
  • Northham Platinum: 12.9 tons
  • Arm: 7.8
  • Value: 4.3
  • Royal Bafokeng Platinum: 4.3
  • Glencore: 1.2