BBX finds more platinum at Três Estados as unlikely player set to boost demand for the metal

Fri 26 Aug 22, 12:12pm (AEDT)
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Key Points

  • BBX Minerals’ platinum operations in Brazil continue to underscore a potential commercially significant play with latest assay results
  • The company will continue to ascertain where mineralisation cuts off at the western portion of the Adelar prospect
  • Bloomberg Intelligence predicts green hydrogen sector will lead to a significant increase in global platinum demand into 2030s

BBX Minerals (ASX:BBX), which has been busy assaying 2017 drillcore data from its Brazilian Três Estados project, has today reported more successful intersections of platinum mineralisation on-site. 

BBX Minerals recently purchased its own Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, allowing BBX to fastrack its assay operations for platinum and iridium, with evidence of surface mineralisaton for both now confirmed. 

Earlier this month, the company reported positive assay results for samples collected in drilling campaigns between 2020 and 2021. 

Drill hole cores were assayed and returned evidence of platinum group mineralisation starting close to surface and deposited in consistent intervals underground. 

Today, the company has replicated that in 2017 data from the Adelar prospect, within the larger project boundary envelope. 

What has BBX found? 

Investor information provider Undervalued Equity notes high grade platinum is that in concentrations over 2.5 grams per tonne (2.5g/t).

Compare that to the following: 

  • 10m @ 1.19g/t platinum from surface, including: 

    • 02m @ 2.28g/t platinum from surface 

  • 4m @ 1.15g/t platinum from 14m 

While only one 2m section from the 2017 Adelar campaign so far contains high grade platinum, management is positive that today’s results are only one piece of the puzzle. 

“Although mineralisation appears to be thinning, mineral deposits often have areas of higher grade and areas of lower grade,” BBX Minerals CEO Andre Douchane said. 

“We are still on track to finish assaying the drill holes as planned and then begin assaying drill holes from the campaign at [the Ema prospect.]” 

“The initial RC drill holes were not very deep, and this can also affect the results.” 

What is platinum used for? 

At this current time, the price of platinum is most dominantly linked to output from the vehicle industry. 

Platinum is a key component in catalytic converters, devices which filtrate vehicle exhaust. Such is the concentration of platinum in the devices that they are typically targeted by car thieves.

However, following suppressed demand and output in the vehicle sector broadly (driven by a microchip shortage and depressed economic outlooks,) platinum futures have fallen in August, continuing a year long trend which sees platinum prices down 12% year-on-year. 

Platinum futures are traded on the NY Mercantile Exchange, the Tokyo Commodity Exchange and the London Bullion Market. Platinum is also used in energy (refineries) and the chemical and power industries.

But there is good reason to bank on platinum in the early 2020s. 

Green hydrogen to boost demand: Bloomberg 

Iridium, a byproduct metal of platinum, is a major component in electrolysers, the devices which use water and electricity to create hydrogen. 

An electrolyser powered by renewable energy is considered a viable method to produce green hydrogen, and electrolysers use a lot of iridium. 

By 2030, Bloomberg Intelligence expects platinum demand to grow by 700,000oz a year and potentially doubling to 1.7Moz a year by 2035.

This thesis was backed up by the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) this month, when it released its August market report. 

Ultimately, the WPIC expects demand for electrolysers to boost demand for the world's best known scarcest metal.

BBX Minerals' three month charts. With building early stage evidence commercial-scale platinum deposits may exist on-site, and demand set to steadily increase, are investors overlooking BBX?
BBX Minerals' three month charts. With building early stage evidence commercial-scale platinum deposits may exist on-site, and demand set to steadily increase, are investors overlooking BBX?


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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