Long-term PGM recycling analysis from an expert team
SFA (Oxford)'s discreet work with recyclers gives us unique market insights, for the major regions of the USA, Europe, China and Japan. We also closely monitor jewellery recycling, electronic scrap and spent catalysts. SFA can provide unrivalled business intelligence and market analysis of the spent autocatalyst recycling market. The team has completed a comprehensive evaluation of recycled autocatalysts from scrapyards, collection, decanning, smelting and refining players, new technology developments and business economics. For more than a decade, we have tracked the development of PGM usage and subsequent PGM scrap generation in the autocatalyst (as well as jewellery, electrical and electronic) sector, enabling us to provide a comprehensive independent review for due diligence and new investment.
In-depth analysis of spent autocatalyst recycling and value chain
SFA (Oxford) provided an independent view of the PGM value chain for spent autocatalyst recycling, highlighting the indicative cost and value addition at each stage (removal, collection, pre-processing, smelting, and refining).
The PGM recycling sector: A guide for the new entrant
The SFA team completed an overview and evaluation of opportunities within the PGM recovery/recycling sector, defining the barriers to entry confronting a newcomer to the sector, identifying the main players in the value chain, and forecasting regional collection rates and volumes of spent autocatalysts, as well as appraising other market sources of secondary PGMs.
Global volumes and new market direction
Regional survey on spent autocatalysts for a major PGM refining company
SFA (Oxford) produced a concise overview of automotive catalyst end-use, including PGM requirements, industry trends, emission legislation and inter-related metal substitution.
The review calculated current average regional volumes of platinum, palladium and rhodium arising from spent autocatalysts, and estimated historical and future regional collection rates of spent autocatalysts by ceramic and metal substrate.
We quantified the numbers of ceramic and metal substrates available for recycling in the selected regions and identified the main players in the value chain, including processors and, where possible, collectors.
Strategic options review for a major PGM recycler
SFA (Oxford) assisted in the derivation of a high-level, practicable, and viable scaling-up of business strategy (or disinvestment case) within an 18-month timeline. Detailed PGM market intelligence was provided, covering primary and secondary supply and demand. The review contextualised assets/ operations against those of local peers and global competitors, and offered an independent view on the metal price dynamics of platinum-group markets, so as to determine a robust window of economic opportunity for the company’s PGM business.
Contextualisation of autocatalyst, jewellery, and WEEE recycling
The viability of PGM recycling as a strategic investment by a major metal refining company
SFA (Oxford) articulated the challenges surrounding PGM recycling, clearly defining the opportunities it offered. The report contextualised the sources of PGM scrap arising from traditional sources such as the jewellery sector, the growing autocatalyst market, and the emerging lower-grade sources of PGMs from electronic waste.
Each PGM end-use market was defined in terms of its relevant volumes, the availability of scrap for recycling, and recovery rates, so as to determine potential business opportunities. Prices and payment terms offered to collectors, metal recoveries offered, and the types of metal accepted were quantified.
Geographical, environmental and political issues were covered, along with the technologies, people, and skills required, as well as legislative environment.
Long-term forecast of PGM volumes available for recycling/PGM primary and secondary refinery capacity estimates for a major corporation involved in recycling
The SFA team supplied comprehensive forecasts of recycled PGMs from autocatalysts (covering gross weights of ceramics and PGM content), jewellery, electronic scrap, chemical and petrochemical catalysts, petroleum catalysts, fabricated metal scrap and other uses.
Due diligence study on a European PGM recycling operation for a major conglomerate
SFA (Oxford) carried out an indicative financial evaluation, taking into account volume, revenue, and cost projections, whilst also considering two proposed options: no investment in WEEE capacity, and investment in WEEE capacity. The report included:
- A cash flow and valuation model.
- Volumetric forecasts, per segment (traditional, WEEE (with/without investment), and autocatalysts) on a tonnage per year basis.
- Forecast revenues excluding precious metals, and predicted operational costs.
- Projected capital expenditure requirements for strategic scenarios, including fixed asset depreciation for the valuation period.
- Historical summarised financial statements.
- Actual PGM metal settlements on a per segment/product group basis.
Business valuation of a major PGM recycler
SFA (Oxford) assessed the overall competitiveness of a refinery operation involved in recycling by conducting a benchmarking exercise, comparing the plant to other global refineries, and considering the following factors: recoveries, operating costs, location, quality of assets, and external and internal negotiated tolling terms.
We conducted a market valuation, considering all relevant qualitative and quantitative factors of the existing operation, on a standalone basis, and identified and analysed the operation’s value, determining the net asset value versus sale options.
European spent autocatalyst market study
Exploring opportunities, trade flows, and processing trends
SFA was commissioned to evaluate the long-term market opportunity for processing spent autocatalysts. Leveraging off SFA’s robust proprietary PGM recycling models, the study spanned collection networks, international trade flows, potential partnerships, processing capacity and the rising impact of silicon carbide diesel particulate filter scrap.
Market study of problematic materials for autocatalyst recycling
Challenges in autocatalyst recycling
SFA has completed a thorough assessment of problematic materials for autocatalyst recycling which cannot be processed by traditional smelters, including silicon carbide (SiC) used for diesel particulate filters and other material types. The SFA team evaluated geographical recycling volumes using its comprehensive industry knowledge of PGM loadings, macroeconomic trends and thrifting of PGM-based SiC catalysts to ensure realistic recycling PGM volumes from end-of-life vehicles were calculated. The team used SFA’s vehicle production database to determine market sizing to support the long-term investment case for processing these problematic materials.
Other PGM consulting solutions
Explore other services our clients use regularly.
For many years, SFA's extensive expertise in analysing the changing dynamics of global economies, financial markets and precious metals has enabled us to deliver bespoke research to enhance your next strategy.
SFA delivers detailed insights into the effects of new automotive technologies on PGM demand for light-duty, heavy-duty, off-road and fuel cell vehicles to meet government emission targets.
SFA has advised mobility companies with their strategies, providing global or local industry context, benchmarking competitors, creating industry scenarios and identifying new opportunities.
SFA has explored the purchasing dynamics between market participants, the complexity of the associated price web factors for platinum, palladium and rhodium, providing definitive answers to commercial questions.
SFA is constantly monitoring the evolution of emerging technologies and threats to new metal substitution. Let us cut through the noise, and highlight the short to long-term price risk impacts for your business.
SFA is equipped to provide detailed regional insights of the major players, market shares, demand volumes, and market value for automotive, chemical and petrochemical catalysts, and smaller industrial markets.
SFA has mapped jewellery pipelines, examined costs and margins, quantified future demand levels, and analysed the competitor landscape of fabricators, wholesalers, and retailers for future investment decision-making.
SFA analyses the physical movements of PGMs for demand-side and supply-side participants, how futures contracts are priced and traded, and quantifies above-ground PGM stocks from key sectors.
SFA can provide you with the most insightful 360-degree research covering the secret closed-loop market sectors by quantifying installed capacities, system losses and top-up requirements by company and sector.
SFA has significant experience mapping regional and localised end-use markets for PGMs to assist clients in discovering new trading opportunities and client targets by volume and sector.
SFA has significant experience in reviewing mine business plans, identifying production risks and reviewing costs down to a half-level basis.
Working with clients and third parties, SFA has a long track record of providing technical due diligence and financial modelling support to help secure funding.
Clients have used SFA to provide the analytical link with banks and financial institutions to support PGM investment decision-making and provide market support.
SFA has supported numerous client listings by providing an independent view of the PGM markets to help secure capital from potential investors.
Our PGM peer-group benchmarking is unrivalled, providing you with a detailed understanding of which assets are outperforming and which are most at risk.
SFA realises cost synergies for PGM clients across company operations to help raise margins and improve production efficiency benchmarks.
With extensive experience covering the PGM markets and industry fundamentals, SFA can provide you with our latest market outlook and the window of scenarios.
The SFA team has completed many labour workforce projects, analysing demographic trends, forecasting future labour requirements across mining operations.
SFA is a trusted advisor to Board members and senior management of significant stakeholders and provides regular assistance to strategy and planning efforts.
SFA can provide accurate short-, medium- and long-term PGM price forecasts to support your business plans and contract negotiations.
SFA provides regular data flows of mine supply and metallurgical pipelines, basket prices, mine economics, and PGM demand to assist strategic decision-making.
SFA has extensive experience in assessing clients' advanced mineral processing offtake options and evaluating indicative commercial terms.
Clients approach SFA to run their own supply and macro modelling demand inputs to see the impact this has on the medium- to long-term PGM market balances.
SFA supports its clients on global roadshows to assist on capital raisings and converse with fund managers, institutional investors and family wealth officers.
The SFA team is constantly providing rich insights for its clients on structural events moving the PGM markets, particularly when the situation continues to change.
SFA works closely with value chain players to understand how materially significant ESG issues can be integrated into their wider company strategy.
SFA's benchmarking of PGM producers on material ESG factors generates high-resolution insights for sustainability-conscious investors.
SFA's analysis of environmental footprints from recycled material in terms of greenhouse gases, waste generation and processing is helping secure new investments.