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What is a platinum refinery?

Precious metals like gold, aluminum, and platinum are extracted from the earth and are recycled endlessly for new uses. After extraction, metals go through a purification and refining process that heightens their quality, removes their impurities, and prepares them for use in different industries like jewelry and automotive.

How is platinum processed?  


Platinum is extracted from the earth in platinum deposits that are found in very few places in the world. There is only one platinum mine for every ten gold mines. This makes the extraction of platinum very scarce and it is a rarity to have an abundance of platinum. 

Each metal has its requirements for refining and processing. Gold and aluminum have to be processed differently as each metal has different melting points, and requires different processes to separate the metal from other materials that were integrated with the metal. Platinum has its requirements for refining and separating the metal from its impurities.

Platinum processing plants 


Platinum processing plants are dedicated to executing the platinum refining process correctly and safely. These processing plants have specific equipment that can handle the precious metal properly. Platinum processing plants recover platinum through metal extractors that retrieve platinum ore from the earth. They also receive platinum from manufacturers' waste or individuals that wish for their metal to be recycled. 

Platinum is used in many different industries and technologies. Platinums highest use is in jewelry, and it is also used in the making of cars, trucks, medical devices, and medical treatments.  Once these products’ uses are complete, the platinum is no longer in use. This is until the metal can be recycled and used in another product. Recycling platinum and other precious metals don’t degrade their quality, making their use never-ending. 

Precious metal is a non-renewable resource on the earth, and the extraction process is becoming more expensive and scarce, making it important to recycle precious metals through processing plants. Platinum processing plants receive new and recycled metal, analyze the metal to assign its monetary worth, and pay the individual or company that gave the platinum.  

What is the platinum refinery process?


When platinum is extracted from the earth and requires refining, it is a tedious and time-consuming process. Processing a batch of ore can take up to six months, and producing a single troy ounce of platinum can take up to 12 tons of ore. The execution of this process needs to be done correctly to receive the most platinum possible from its ore. 

After extracting the platinum ore from the mine, the ore is crushed finely and exposed to water and chemicals. This helps bind the platinum together with other metals. This mixture is then put through a process called flotation separation. 

Flotation separation is the process of separating the platinum from the crushed ore mixture. This is done by blowing air bubbles into the mixture, which brings the platinum particles to the top. This creates a film of platinum on top of the mixture that is skimmed off and dried into a powder. 

Platinum smelting process 


The flotation separation process brings the platinum to a stage of concentrated powder. This platinum powder is still mixed with other metals and impurities. This requires platinum to go through a smelting process. The smelting process exposes the metal to intense heat which helps purify it. 

The platinum smelting process brings the platinum powder to a furnace to heat the metal and bring it to two phases, the slag phase, and matte phase. This separation makes it easier to retrieve the matte phase, as this is the substance that holds the highest concentration of platinum. 

The platinum then needs to be separated from any base metals by chemical processing. Once the base metals like copper and nickel are removed, the platinum base can be treated for its final step. This treatment is done with hydrochloric acid and nitric acid called aqua regia. This final process brings out the purest form of platinum. 

The purified platinum can then be melted and shaped into any form necessary for product manufacturing or shipment. Platinum is usually molded into bars or bullions that are easy to ship to those that wish to use platinum. 

Why is platinum refining important 


The refining and recycling of precious metals are highly important to the environment and the economy. The extraction of precious metals is responsible for almost half of the world’s carbon emissions and the growing lack of biodiversity. Extraction for any precious metal is costly and is becoming more difficult as metal is a non-renewable resource. 

Platinum extraction has an extended need for earth extraction, as there are very few deposits, though there are many necessities of the metal in technology and products. It is costly and becoming more difficult to execute. 

This is why recycling and precious metals refineries like platinum are highly important. Old Items like automobiles, cellphones and other technology that holds precious metals don’t have to sit with no use or be thrown away. The precious metals found in these products can be recycled, and when they are, it reduces the need for earth extraction and the amount of waste that goes to landfills. 

Because metals can be recycled endlessly without their quality degrading, they can be used in the making of new cellphones and automobiles. This reduces the demand for new ore to be extracted, and is especially important for platinum, as there is a lower number of its deposits. 

When there is a lesser need for extraction, it saves energy and money. A high amount of energy is required in the extraction and refining of virgin metal. Recycling metal requires a lesser amount of energy and requires more employees than it would transport the precious metal waste to a landfill.  Recycling precious metals like platinum are crucial to improving the environment, energy usage, and economy. 


Majestic Corporation has been a leading precious metals recycling, non-ferrous metals and Catalytic converter provider for around five decades. With a presence in the United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong and more, as well as a network of precious metals refineries around the world, we work with major customers and partners in a transparent and discrete manner and only offer the highest quality services at competitive prices. 

Contact us here for more information. 


1 678.691.4257

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