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This chapter reviews the platinum group metals, focusing particularly on current economic resources and production trends. Most of the world's platinum group metals (PGMs) are found in South Africa, with moderate amounts in Russia and Zimbabwe and minor amounts in Canada and other countries. Based on a detailed compilation of reported resources for 2010, there are about 90 400t of PGMs globally, compared with current annual production of about 465t. It is clear that there are abundant amounts of PGMs to meet growing global demands for some decades. The primary constraints which are already proving challenging for the PGMs sector are environmental and social in nature – such as economic benefits sharing, energy and emissions intensity, water consumption and impacts on water resources. Overall, PGMs can certainly provide a range of metals for sustainable materials and technologies into the future, but they will come at increasing environmental and social costs which need to be carefully assessed and managed to ensure the most sustainable outcomes for the countries involved and also global issues such as greenhouse gas emissions and climate change risks.

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