Platinum group elements in geosphere and anthroposphere: Interplay among the global reserves, urban ores, markets and circular economy

Juris Burlakovs (Coresponding Author), Zane Vincevica-Gaile, Maris Krievans, Yahya Jani, Mika Horttanainen, Kaur Mikk Pehme, Elina Dace, Roy Hendroko Setyobudi, Jovita Pilecka, Gintaras Denafas, Inga Grinfelde, Amit Bhatnagar, Vasiliy Rud, Vita Rudovica, Ronald L. Mersky, Olga Anne, Mait Kriipsalu, Ruta Ozola-Davidane, Toomas Tamm, Maris Klavins

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Industrial and strategic significance of platinum group elements (PGEs)—Os, Ir, Ru, Rh, Pd, Pt—makes them irreplaceable; furthermore, some PGEs are used by investors as “safe heaven” assets traded in the commodity markets. This review analyzes PGEs from various aspects: their place in the geosphere, destiny in the anthroposphere, and opportunity in the economy considering interactions among the exploration, recycling of urban ores, trade markets, speculative rhetoric, and changes required for successful technological progress towards the implementation of sustainability. The global market of PGEs is driven by several concerns: costs for extraction/recycling; logistics; the demand of industries; policies of waste management. Diversity of application and specific chemical properties, as well as improper waste management, make the recycling of PGEs complicated. The processing approach depends on composition and the amount of available waste material, and so therefore urban ores are a significant source of PGEs, especially when the supply of elements is limited by geopolitical or market tensions. Recycling potential of urban ores is particularly important in a long-term view disregarding short-term economic fluctuations, and it should influence investment flows in the advancement of innovation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number558
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    Number of pages19
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2020


    • Circular economy
    • Commodity markets
    • Critical elements
    • Limitation of resources
    • Mining
    • Platinum group metals
    • Recycling
    • Supply and demand
    • Sustainability

    Field of Science*

    • 1.5 Earth and related Environmental sciences
    • 2.7 Environmental engineering

    Publication Type*

    • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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