New cost-effective method for platinum ore extraction developed in WA

Image by James St. John from Wikimedia Commons

A new method for extracting platinum metal from ore has been developed by researchers at Curtin University, with support from the State Government through the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia and industry sponsor Panoramic Resources.

According to the statement, using this new method will deliver cost savings to industry and eliminate the use of corrosive salt in processing the ore.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the cost savings delivered by this new method to extract platinum will support the development of resources in Western Australia that couldn’t be previously extracted.

“Western Australia has some of the world’s best researchers, who provide a competitive edge to our State’s mining industry.”


“The McGowan Government is committed to investing in scientific research to support the mining sector to further unlock mineral potential and create jobs in Western Australia,” Mr Johnston said.

The research delivers a technological advantage to WA’s mining industry and could help companies in the Kimberley region develop new resources and their platinum projects.

According to Geoscience Australia, platinum has wide applications associated with the motor vehicle industry, and its commercial importance is seen in increasing global emission controls, development of lead-free petrol and efforts to improve fuel efficiency. Other applications include the use of platinum-rhodium alloys to oxidise ammonia to nitric acid in the production of fertilisers, while platinum is used extensively in jewellery.

Image credit: James St. John via Wikimedia Commons