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History of the Oxford Platinum Lectures

Here you can read up on the history of on SFA (Oxford)'s annual event, the Oxford Platinum Lectures, that brings together individuals from companies representing the entire platinum industry value chain for a day of thought-provoking presentations and intellectual debate based around the most pressing industry issues of the year.

Lecture highlights

Since SFA (Oxford)'s first event in 2010, the Oxford Platinum Lectures have become an annual staple of the London Platinum Week calendar, welcoming the PGM industry’s most important players to the UK, and to Oxford. The day of thought-provoking presentations and passionate debate is facilitated by experts and intellectuals who address some of the most complex questions concerning platinum today and going forward.

Speakers from across the PGM value chain, representing producers, end-users and investors are invited to offer conference delegates unique insights into industry opportunities and challenges, making this one of the most exciting and eagerly anticipated events of London Platinum Week.

2010-2018 overview

Each year, we decide on a theme for the Lectures, encompassing the most pressing issues of that particular year. In 2010 the topic was The Changing Economic and Political World of PGMs, with growing supply costs and the increasingly political subtext surrounding PGMs being our focus, and in 2011, for Platinum: The Human Element, our speakers presented on the price of neglecting mining’s most important asset – its people – and looked at mine safety, skill shortages and the impact of social and cultural trends on demand for jewellery. 

In 2012, The Currencies and Currents of Tomorrow’s Platinum World was based around the idea of ‘change’ and the key factors likely to impact the industry most significantly in the coming years, including the euro crisis, fuel cells, the rand, and Zimbabwe after Mugabe. This was followed in 2013 with PGM Recycling: A Waste(d) Opportunity? when our focus was on secondary supply and its growing impact on the PGM markets. 

The theme in 2014 was PGMs: Rearranging the Value Chain, focusing on fundamental shifts within the PGM value chain, and in 2015 it was Platinum Dependency: Regular, Risky, and Experimental Market Arguments, with the lectures tackling the topic of depressed commodities markets. 

In 2016, Parts of the Sum: Powerful Players in Today’s PGM Buying Cycle focused on those parts of the value chain where major investments were being made. In May 2017, The Rise of the Informed Consumerfocused on the changing nature of PGM usage and understanding how the entire length of the value chain and, consequently, metal prices are impacted by the informed consumer’s buying patterns.

Most recently, in 2018, SFA (Oxford) hosted Smart Responses for Platinum's Natural Selection, which focused on how evolving global issues affecting the industry can be addressed in order to secure platinum’s future.

2018: Smart Responses for Platinum's Natural Selection

Smart responses for platinum's natural selection

The speakers and their presentations at the 2018 Oxford Platinum Lectures included:

   

Nico Muller, Chief Executive Officer, Impala Platinum and Alexander Mhembere, Chief Executive Officer, Zimplats

Mining opportunities following the new political dispensation in Zimbabwe

 

André Christl, President, Heraeus Precious Metals

How to run a sustainable business model in precious metals

 

Dr Graham Cooley, Chief Executive Officer, ITM Power

Hydrogen energy solutions that meet society's new requirements for grid balancing and energy storage services, and the production of clean fuel for transport

 

Hisako Hankinson, President, Platinum Guild International (PGI) Japan

How creative marketing strategies can be used to sustain future demand for platinum jewellery in Japan

 

Liu Qiang, Executive Vice President, China National Resources Recycling Association

China's approach to the recycling of materials, particularly precious metals, and the associated long-term economic projections

 

2017: The Rise of the Informed Consumer

Our 2017 event addressed the changing nature of PGM usage and how the entire length of the value chain and, consequently, metal prices are impacted by the informed consumer’s buying patterns.

The rise of the informed consumer

The speakers and their presentations at the 2017 Oxford Platinum Lectures included: 

  

Andreas Wittman, Managing Director, Linde Hydrogen Concepts

A car sharing future using zero emissions - hydrogen mobility

 

Scott Brierley, specialist in electric vehicles for a major car manufacturer

The electric car revolution: technology progress

 

Alan Chan, Deputy General Manager, Chow Tai Fook

Jewellery retailer strategies: adapting to changing Chinese consumer behaviour

 

Jun Yamaguchi, President, Tokuriki Honten

Platinum bars and jewellery: informed purchasing by the Japanese public

 

Marcus Grubb, Director of Market Development, World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC)    

Introducing new platinum investment products to reach new buyers

 

2016: Parts of the Sum: Powerful Players in Today's PGM Buying Cycle

Our 2016 event discussed the fundamental shifts in the industry, with an emphasis on those parts of the value chain where major investments were being made, under the theme Parts of the sum: Powerful players in today's PGM buying cycle.

Parts of the sum – Powerful players in today's PGM buying cycle

The speakers and their presentations at the 2016 Oxford Platinum Lectures included:  

 

Paul Dunne, CEO, Northam Platinum

Critical investment success factors for tomorrow

 

Neal Froneman, CEO, Sibanye Gold

Why a gold producer is adopting a PGM value creation strategy

 

Dr Katsuhiko Hirose, WPI Professor, International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University and Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Promotion Group, Toyota

Where do precious metals lie on the journey towards the future of sustainable mobility?

 

Anton Berlin, Head of Strategic Marketing, MMC Norilsk Nickel

Making palladium an investment priority for Norilsk

 

Dr David Deegan, CTO, Tetronics   

Investing in recycling - Rolling out small, easy-to-build, eco-friendly, high-tech smelters

 

Huw Daniel, CEO, Platinum Guild International

Jewellery - Restoring the lustre to platinum demand

2015: Platinum Dependency: Regular, Risky, and Experimental Market Arguments

Our 2015 event focused on the future for PGMs, with expert speakers examining separate areas of the industry, from new, low-cost mining practices to the topical diesel debate. Delegates then engaged in an intellectual debate on each of these issues.

Platinum dependency: Regular risky and experimental market arguments

The speakers and their presentations at the 2015 Oxford Platinum Lectures included:

 

Stephen Forrest, Chairman, SFA (Oxford) Ltd

Platinum dependency: Regular, risky and experimental market arguments and market outlook 

 

Steve Phiri, CEO, Royal Bafokeng Platinum

A new low-cost mining plan (Styldrift)

 

Cynthia Gruber, Director, Strategy and New Business Development, Mobile Emissions and Precious Metals, BASF

PGMs are here to stay

 

Johann Erasmus, Director, Africa ETF Issuer, Standard Bank

Will ETFs continue to entice PGM end-users?

 

Al Bedwell, Director, Global Powertrain, LMC Automotive

Powertrain choices: Situation normal or all change?

 

Sam Longman, Policy Manager for Environment, Transport for London 

The diesel debate: Limiting emissions in major cities

 

Nick Tunnell, Aftersales Director, Hyundai Motor UK (Introduction by Anglo American Platinum)

Growing the European fuel cell market

 

2014: PGMs: Rearranging the Value Chain

The Oxford Platinum Lectures took place in Oxford's prestigious Sheldonian Theatre, bringing together authorities from across the platinum landscape to discuss fundamental industry changes, as supply slowly moved away from stalwart South Africa, and demand found new regions to exploit beyond Europe.

PGMs: Rearranging the value chain

The speakers and their presentations at the 2014 Oxford Platinum Lectures included:

 

Stephen Forrest, Chairman, SFA (Oxford) Ltd

PGMs: The value chain rearrangement

 

Dr James Motlatsi, Chairman, The Employment Bureau of South Africa/Shanduka Group

Saving South Africa: Notes on a crisis

 

Jean Nel, Chief Executive Officer, Aquarius Platinum

Out of South Africa’s shadow: The rise of Zimbabwe

 

Andrew Hinkly, Executive Head: Marketing, Anglo American Platinum

A perspective on the future of producer marketing

 

Vaishali Banerjee, Country Manager (India), Platinum Guild International

The rise of the Tiger: India, the new jewellery giant

 

Terry Shindo, Manager of Precious Metals, Sojitz Corporation

Secondary becomes primary: Recycling and the PGM supply shift

 

Beresford Clarke, Managing Director, Head of Research, SFA (Oxford) Ltd

The road ahead: The SFA (Oxford) market forecast

 

For the first time at the Oxford Platinum Lectures, SFA (Oxford) presented its own industry-leading view of PGMs, as it unveiled The Platinum Standard, an agenda-setting PGM review.

 

2013: PGM Recycling: A Waste(d) Opportunity?

The Oxford Platinum Lectures in 2013 were held at one of the University of Oxford’s most prestigious academic establishments, St. Antony's College.

PGM recycling: A waste(d) opportunity

The focus this year was on the market impact and potential of PGM recycling, with a roster of high-profile speakers.

The speakers and their presentations at the 2013 Oxford Platinum Lectures included:

 

Archie Myezwa, Head of Corporate Strategy, Anglo American Platinum

Can the South African mining footprint recover?

 

Lee Hockey, Sales and Marketing Director, PGM Refining, Johnson Matthey

Open- and closed-loop recycling

 

Michel Verhelst, Commercial Director, Umicore

PGM recycling: A bumpy road ahead?

 

Frank Rettinger, Sales Director, Duesmann & Hensel

Can EU collections increase?

 

Shinya Kitaoka, General Manager, Chemical and Refining, Tanaka KK

The Japanese recycling market

 

2012: The Currencies and Currents of Tomorrow's Platinum World

The Oxford Platinum Lectures 2012 examined the market malaise and political turmoil that characterised the industry and asked what the future might hold for PGMs. Of particular focus were: what the global economic picture might look like with a weaker rand and what this would mean for PGMs and South Africa itself; what the world can expect from a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe; and what the implications might be for the PGM supply-demand balance of both Europe’s automotive sector and the new wave of green technologies, such as fuel cells.

The currencies and currents of tomorrow's platinum world

Held at Oxford University’s prestigious Sheldonian Theatre under the theme ‘The Currencies and Currents of Tomorrow’s Platinum World’, the event acted as a forum for delegates aiming at assuaging some of the political, social and economic uncertainties that are plaguing the industry. The focus of the Oxford Platinum Lectures 2012 was to pose the question ‘What happens next?’

The speakers and their presentations at the 2012 Oxford Platinum Lectures included:

 

Stephen Forrest, Chairman, SFA (Oxford) Ltd

The currencies and currents of tomorrow's platinum world

 

Pete Kelley, Managing Director, LMC Automotive

Accident ahead?: Signposts for the approaching Euro car crash

 

Dr Kerry-Ann Adamson, Research Director, Smart Energy, Pike Research

Lighting the fuse on fuel cells… 18 months to ignition

 

Jurgens van Zyl, Project Development Manager, Development Bank of Southern Africa

The South African rand: Mine rescuer this year or not?

 

Dr Vimbai Kwashirai, Associate Professor and Senior Researcher, Essen University

Zimbabwe after Mugabe

 

After the event SFA (Oxford) held its 10th anniversary celebration at Oxford University Divinity School, Bodleian Library.

 

2011: Platinum: The Human Element

The second annual Oxford Platinum Lectures in 2011 were held on the eve of London Platinum Week and brought together a wide range of PGM industry experts to explore the altogether poorly publicised human side of PGMs – its workers. Under the theme of Platinum: The Human Element, speakers presented on topics including work and behaviourism, mine health and safety, the use of platinum in medical applications, the politics of platinum and skill shortage implications.

The speakers and their presentations at the 2011 Oxford Platinum Lectures included:

 

Dr Jon Andrews, Group Executive (HSE), Medical Services, Impala Platinum

Human behaviour: Safety within the South African platinum industry

 

Professor William Beinart, Rhodes Professor of Race Relations, University of Oxford

Jacob Zuma: The platinum president

 

Jens Trotzschell, Business Unit Manager, Medical Components Department, WC Heraeus GmbH

Platinum and new medical applications

 

Dr Scott Livermore, Director of International Macroeconomics Forecasting, Oxford Economics

Economic outlook and population trends

 

Paola De Luca, Co-Founder, Creative Director, TJF Group

Platinum: 'The human element' - a future vision

 

Stephen Forrest, Chairman, SFA (Oxford)Ltd

PGMs: The skills shortage

 

Following the Lectures, delegates were invited to a private viewing of the Ashmolean Museum’s new £61 million renovation and to explore with their curator some of the artefacts which are displayed within the world’s first public museum.

 

2010: The Changing Economic and Political World of PGMs

The first Oxford Platinum Lectures were held in 2010 to critical acclaim from those who attended. Held on the eve of London Platinum Week, delegates were offered a unique and exciting event that saw our expert analysts and an associate team of university professors offer a series of topically focused sessions covering the changing economics and political world of PGMs. Through the medium of free-thinking and original presentations, speakers explored and discussed the issues and ideas surrounding the PGM industry.

The speakers and their presentations at the 2010 Oxford Platinum Lectures included:

 

Dr Scott Livermore, Director of International Economics, Oxford Economics

How secure is the global recovery?

 

Dr Paul Chaisty, University Lecturer in Russian Politics, St Antony's College, University of Oxford

Stability and instability in Putin's Russia

 

Dr Vimbai Kwashirai, Associate Professor and Senior Researcher, Essen University

The push and pull of politics and economics in Zimbabwe

 

Dr William Gumede, Senior Associate and Programme Director, SOAS, London University and University of Witwatersrand

The relationship between economics and politics in South Africa

 

Platinum market reports

SFA (Oxford) provides regular market intelligence reports on platinum as well as in-depth studies on recycling, metal flows and price setting. Our most popular platinum market reports are:

  • The PGM quarterly report
  • The Long-Term PGM Market Outlook report
  • The 2040 PGM Market Outlook report

Discover more on SFA (Oxford)'s platinum market reports.

Future events

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