The Coronavirus-Induced Smell Of Clean Air Could Boost Platinum

Finweek English|4 June 2020

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The Coronavirus-Induced Smell Of Clean Air Could Boost Platinum
The world has experienced marked declines in air pollution during the Covid-19 lockdown. If this consequence isn’t just temporary, platinum should gain.
David McKay

South Africans may not have enjoyed their personal liberty becoming subject to government diktat, but at least the air smells sweeter. One consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown has been a reduction in national pollution. Nitrogen dioxide levels fell 23% on the Highveld between 27 March and 20 April, according to satellite imaging studies produced by the Pretoria-based research institute the CSIR.

The phenomena of reduced emissions have been a global consequence of fewer cars on the road, less factories, and less air travel. “This cleaner air should not just be temporary,” said Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, in an article by the UK’s Guardian. “So once the current emergency has passed and we start to recover, our challenge will be to eradicate air pollution permanently,” he said.

This is much the hope of SA’s platinum group metals (PGM) industry which, as with other industries, has been thrown into a fug by the onset of the Covid-19 disease. There’s been little in the way of agreement between PGM research houses on where the industry may land in the months and years after the pandemic’s arrival.


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4 June 2020