A Platinum Cartel in the Works

24/7 Wall St.

Platinum barsPlatinum prices have fallen nearly 10% from their 2013 highs in early February. Palladium prices are off as well, but the drop is just 3.6%. This is not good for South Africa, which produces about 70% of the world’s platinum, or Russia, which produces about 40% of the world’s palladium. So the two nations have decided to do something about it.

According to a report at Bloomberg News, South Africa and Russia have signed a framework document under which the two countries will form an OPEC-style cartel to coordinate exports of the two metals. Other producers of the metals include Canada, Zimbabwe and the United States, where Stillwater Mining Co. (NYSE: SWC) operates the only U.S. platinum and palladium mine.

Stillwater is currently in a battle with The Clinton Group, a hedge fund that owns about 1% of Stillwater’s stock and has offered a full slate of…

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