JIM AMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM AMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Rtok platinum mine, South Africa. The South African deposit of platinum are found amongst nickel-copper sulphate ores. Once the ore is smelted, the platinum content is about 0.18%. Further electrolytic and chemical treatment isolates the platinum. Also recovered are small amounts of the other platinum group elements: iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium and ruthenium. Platinum is used in jewelry, scientific instruments, special containers and as a catalyst. Tiny amounts (about 1 gramme) of platinum are present in a car's exhaust catalytic converter. South Africa has the second largest platinum reserves in the World, the largest is in Russia.
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