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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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10. Platinum

Today the world’s largest producer of platinum is South Africa. However South Africa’s pre-eminence has only occurred over the last 50 years despite the huge discoveries of the metal made in the Transvaal north of Johannesburg in the 1920s. These in fact were not developed until ten years later when Rustenburg Platinum was formed to mine the Bushveld Igneous Complex discovered by Hans Merensky in 1924, who we met earlier in his role in the diamond developments in South West Africa in 1908.

How platinum’s role and understanding of the metal has changed

Although platinum is now both a precious and a strategic metal, its historic role was as a precious metal, though not, as gold and silver were, a monetary metal. Platinum has ...

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