Subject: Types of platinum and platinum nuggets
Q1. How many types of platinum are there?
Q2. What does ‘raw’ platinum look like?
A1. Platinum can occur in many forms in nature. The platinum group elements (platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium) generally occur as alloys with iron or with transition group metals such as arsenic, tellurium, antimony and vanadium; or as mixed platinum-palladium sulphide minerals (cooperite and braggite).
They are typically associated with copper and nickel sulphide mineralisation (commonly chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and pentlandite) and/or with chromite. Known occurrences of platinum in its native metallic form are restricted to a handful of locations, including the Urals mountains and the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia and the Tulameen district of British Columbia, Canada.
A2. Platinum metal is metallic silvery-grey.
There is a picture of platinum-bearing ore on the front page of the "Platinum 2002 Interim Review"
There is also a picture of Russian platinum nuggets on page 20 of 'PGM Mining in Russia' in "Platinum 2004"
Answer posted February 2005
Submitted by: Ms Dennice Mashamba
Answered by: Tom Kendall
Affiliation: Johnson Matthey