Rhodium bullion opened at US$1700/toz today on the EIB.  After months of steeply depressed prices,  demand for this catalytically important metal has begun to perk up.  A substantial fraction of all rhodium demand is derived from automotive catalytic converters. Decide for yourself what this ramp-up in pricing really means.

Elsewhere in rhodium news, as a result of General Motors bankruptcy filing, the bankruptcy court has upheld the request of GM to drop its contracts with Stillwater Mining.  The Montana-based mining outfit is the only US producer of platinum group metals (PGM’s). Stillwater expects this decision to result in a $5-10 million hit in sales.

Colossus Minerals has announced an extraordinarily rich PGM find at their Serra Pelada Project in Brazil.  Below is a summary of the find-

– Systematic sampling and assaying of drill core from the Central
  Mineralised Zone at Serra Pelada has yielded platinum (up to 299 g/t),
  palladium (up to 387 g/t) rhodium (up to 7.7 g/t) and iridium (up to
  4.9 g/t), grades among the highest on record

– High grade PGE-gold intervals include FD-072:
  7.88 metres @ 406.4 g/t gold, 98.4 g/t platinum , 115.7 g/t palladium,
  2.74g/t rhodium, 1.52g/t iridium, 0.19g/t ruthenium and 0.03g/t osmium
  1.87 metres @ 1431.3 g/t gold, 248 g/t platinum , 321.4 g/t palladium,
6.50 g/t rhodium, 4.21g/t iridium, 0.39g/t ruthenium and 0.10g/t osmium

– Platinum to rhodium ratio varies systematically with the gold to platinum
  ratio, ranging from around 10:1 to over 40:1. In this range, rhodium
  values will contribute significantly to the value of high PGE subzones at
  Serra Pelada

– The assay data indicate high PGE subzones in more southerly parts of the
  Central Mineralised Zone, where Colossus has only conducted limited
drilling to date and also the possible continuity of a high Au-PGE subzone
  over 200 metres strike length.

The Serra Pelada gold deposit was discovered in 1979 and lead to the largest gold rush Latin America has known. It has since been found to contain highly enriched mineralizations of Au-Pd-Pt along with enrichments of other PGM’s.