Strategy, planning and Board support
Value chain consulting
Trusted advisor to Board members and senior management
The SFA (Oxford) team is globally recognised for its knowledge and understanding of today and tomorrow's PGM industry across the entire value chain from rock-face to end-use, and is well placed to identify industry opportunities and threats in order to generate ideas to augment our clients' business strategy and planning efforts.
Delivering effective market messaging to aid strategic thinking
We have spent many years building the most sophisticated, tried-and-tested models to predict developments in all facets of the PGM market out to 2040 and beyond. Using our information and data platform, our diverse team of PGM experts can generate scenarios to identify investment possibilities in the PGM industry uniquely matched to our clients' business objectives.
Our reputation is built on the team's ability to meet client-specific requirements with the utmost respect and confidentiality. Examples of SFA’s tailored strategic consulting assignments include:
An evaluation of market threats and opportunities for end-use technologies to discover new value-adding possibilities.
The augmentation of investment planning initiatives for a major financial institution by supplying real-time market impact analysis, information on end-use developments, mine and project evaluation, and metal price forecasting.
An evaluation of optimal timing for new shaft development and a peer-group benchmarking assessment for a mine feasibility study.
Completing several strategic business planning workshops for significant producers and diversified conglomerates to identify investment opportunities within the PGM supply chain.
Independent identification of the investment opportunity of a junior PGM company and its assets for stock exchange listing purposes.
Peer group depletion study
Development of a compelling rationale for the investment community and stimulation for a re-rating in a PGM producer's share price based on its costs of production compared with those of the industry
The SFA (Oxford) team carried out a comparative analysis that provided a stark contrast of peer-group depletion rates both physically (ore reserve attrition) and economically (price-induced attrition). This depletion study clearly highlighted the quality of a producer’s assets (including exceptional optionality in production and quality of its reserves) that gives it an edge against acute industry depletion.
Supply security for end-users
An all-inclusive extrapolation of Southern African PGM production
SFA (Oxford) carried out an assessment of likely scenarios of the size, shape and structure of the Southern African platinum group metals mining industry to 2040 so as to aid a client to evaluate its metal supply requirements, now and in the future.
Synergies associated with consolidation
Exploration of strategic options for industry consolidation
SFA (Oxford)’s constant monitoring of the industry dynamics, and consequent vigilance of many in the global PGM peer group, has led to a unique track record of modelling and assessing strategic opportunities. In this assignment, SFA (Oxford) identified, evaluated and quantified potential synergies associated with a combination of industry consolidation. We developed business cases for consolidation from the perspectives of each party and prioritised target companies.
Developing the platinum investment market
Enhancing investors' understanding of the fundamentals driving the platinum market
The team provided independent research and analysis to an organisation formed by six leading platinum producers to develop the market for platinum investment demand. SFA (Oxford)'s data and analysis helped to ensure greater transparency of the global platinum market and the delivery of regular data to investors.
An assessment of opportunities to increase a company's PGM output
SFA (Oxford) undertook an investigation of potential business growth opportunities to meet a client's aggressive PGM production target.
Independent assessment of a PGM project
SFA (Oxford) provided an up-to-date, high-level case for investment in a project against other global projects and operations, to be made available to a potential joint venture partner.
Identification and quantification of South Africa’s low-grade PGM waste products from concentrators, smelters and refineries
The SFA (Oxford) team compiled a list of South Africa’s PGM producers and respective concentrators, smelters and refineries, calculating the amount of PGMs produced on an annual basis for each metallurgical process, and estimating the production of secondary materials from each process and defining the typical chemical assay of each secondary material.
Insight for strategic planning
PGM business intelligence for strategic planning purposes
SFA (Oxford) provided an estimation of PGM primary and secondary mine concentrate (base metal etc.) volumes by region, along with an explanation of refining treatment flows (player integration versus reliance on third-party toll treatment). This included estimates of the internal and, where applicable, external costs of producing concentrate.
The characterisation of primary and secondary PGM smelting and refining by region was analysed, including the main players, their capacities, their level of integration in the PGM chain, and, where possible, their utilisation rates and margins.
The spent autocatalyst collection market and associated infrastructure by region were researched and analysed, including the main players, collection efficiency rates by region and the typical business models employed.
PGM market study on the size and dynamics of the Indian PGM market
Analysing capacities, industrial sectors, material flows, and end-uses
SFA (Oxford)’s Indian PGM market study included market intelligence on PGM demand split by sectors, local and imported sources of supply for end users, identification of major players and their services as well as PGM recycling developments and opportunities in India.
Precious metal demand trends in Southeast Asia
Analysing capacities, industrial sectors, material flows, and end-uses
An investigation was made into current and future trends and influences acting on industrial PGMs and their investment vehicles in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar and Australia.
Industrial sectors covered included glass, petroleum, electronics, chemical and medical. The investment sector took account of exchange-traded funds. A 'black book' of customers and suppliers was created, and PGM volumes required for each industry and customers were derived.
China PGM market study
Analysing capacities, industrial sectors, material flows, and end-uses
Over the years SFA (Oxford) has greatly expanded its analysis of the Chinese PGM marketplace. This study provides a detailed understanding of the precious metals trading environment, regulations, automotive catalyst manufacturing segment and its players, market size and global context, as well as recycling market volumes and forecasts.
USA PGM market study
Analysing capacities, industrial sectors, material flows, and end-uses to identify new client opportunities
SFA (Oxford) provided key PGM market data and useable information including procurement volumes and methods by sector and segment, new appliances of PGMs, forecast consumption volumes, PGM recycling loops, as well as a summary of the key players in recycling.
Strategic list of target customers
Ranking targets in the chemical sector for a client
Using our in-depth knowledge and understanding of PGM demand and metal flows to the chemical sector (silicones, nitric acid, paraxylene and PDH), SFA (Oxford) created a target list of potential customers for a client.
Precious metals chemicals industry
Evaluating players, metal use, and business opportunities for a client
SFA (Oxford) undertook a detailed strategic intelligence report on the precious metals chemicals markets, including PGM demand volumes and market value by segment and region, as well as the competitive landscape.
Ruthenium value chain
The European and US ruthenium catalyst markets: Supply, sale and application
SFA (Oxford) analysed the European and US ruthenium catalyst markets (including recycling), considering their fundamentals, trade flows, and major players/buyers, and supplying actual pricing information for ruthenium to better frame the market’s commercial/trading environment through, for example, spot pricing and contracts.
Competitor purchasing intelligence
PGM use in automotive market and best-fit scenarios for a client
SFA (Oxford) helped the client better understand PGM use in the automotive market, then identified potential purchasing strategy developments to leverage the clients buying powers, reduce risk and guarantee supply.
Competition for PGM supply — commissioned by an electrolyser and fuel cell production company
Strategic metals assessment
SFA (Oxford) was commissioned to examine the future demand requirements for platinum and iridium, and the availability of supply to support the growing hydrogen economy.
A long-term sensitivity analysis of future automotive technology and its impact on the PGM market out to 2040 — commissioned by a client
Where and when the expansions and contractions in demand will take place for each metal
An analysis was carried out of the influence of future powertrains on platinum, palladium and rhodium demand out to 2040.
Security of supply — commissioned by a car manufacturer
Security of PGM supply against new automotive technologies and product cycles
The review considered a car company’s future drive towards new automotive technologies where sourcing the right platinum group metals mix to meet the new challenges arising from the need for more environmentally friendly vehicles is a key factor.
Automotive catalyst end-uses — commissioned by a major mining corporation
Autocatalyst demand study
The team at SFA (Oxford) carried out an overview of automotive catalyst end-uses, including PGM requirements, industry trends, emissions legislation and metal substitution. We also produced historical autocatalyst PGM offtake data and forecast demand.
The impact of electric vehicles on future platinum and palladium demand — commissioned by a major conglomerate
Long-term market impact analysis out to 2040
The project also took account of country-by-country energy supplies, government policies and legislation, cities, and demographic considerations. In summary, using a range of electric vehicle sales growth scenarios to articulate the potential loss of PGM demand and market implications to the client.
Predictive jewellery modelling — commissioned by a client
A PGM jewellery demand study of jewellery elasticity to metal prices
SFA (Oxford) developed a robust, predictive model of platinum and palladium jewellery demand and price elasticities, helping to inform the company’s marketing activity with detailed forecasts of platinum and palladium demand and their sensitivities.
A year-long study on the Chinese jewellery market
A full regional appraisal of platinum jewellery, including the value chain, players, metal movements, and influences on demand
A multi-faceted econometric model was developed to quantify platinum jewellery demand evolution now and in the future. The study involved on the ground interviews with jewellery industry players (fabricators, wholesalers and retailers). Demographic influences were also accounted for to ultimately plot platinum demand scenarios for tomorrow.
Jewellery marketing investment appraisal
Global investment appraisal
The SFA (Oxford) team provided insight on metal price demand elasticity, so as to illustrate the dynamics that impact manufacturers and retailers’ decisions regarding their platinum business.
The report highlighted the margins that apply in the jewellery pipeline from mine to the customer (retailer) to identify levels of marketing investment that can be achieved (net profit, net profit margin, and gross profit margin).
The pipeline was mapped by market, outlining the flow of platinum from importers and refiners through to consumers.
PGM customers in the hydrogen economy — commissioned by a client
New customer targets
SFA (Oxford) identified and evaluated key PGM customers in the hydrogen economy, a good long-term hedge for PGMs as autocatalyst use declines, and potentially secure demand for iridium and ruthenium.
Development of mineral rights portfolios
Global investment appraisal
Comprehensive strategic appraisals of global exploration projects have been completed by SFA (Oxford) on behalf of an investor.
Enhanced Investment Memorandum
Linking the use of PGMs in strategic applications with favourable investment returns
SFA (Oxford) assisted in the production of an Investment Memorandum (IM) for a client, providing clear insight into the benefits of PGM, how the use of PGM in innovative new technologies is rising.
Contextualising prospects for the hydrogen economy — for a Family Wealth Office
Hydrogen market assessment
Market evaluation including assessing how technology shifts, legislative changes, and environmental issues will impact markets, and evaluation of niche applications in new end-uses and the long-term sustainability of these applications.
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 recycling sector
A guide for the new entrant
The SFA (Oxford) 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.
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). 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.
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Other PGM consulting solutions
Explore other services our clients use regularly.
Augmented mine business planning and risk analysis
SFA has significant experience in reviewing mine business plans, identifying production risks and reviewing costs down to a half-level basis.
Due diligence studies and PGM commercial advisory
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.
PGM mergers, acquisitions, and corporate defence
Clients have used SFA to provide the analytical link with banks and financial institutions to support PGM investment decision-making and provide market support.
IPO market chapters and PGM feasibility studies
SFA has supported numerous client listings by providing an independent view of the PGM markets to help secure capital from potential investors.
Peer-group benchmarking and margin analysis
Our PGM peer-group benchmarking is unrivalled, providing you with a detailed understanding of which assets are outperforming and which are most at risk.
Mine optimisation and cost benchmarking
SFA realises cost synergies for PGM clients across company operations to help raise margins and improve production efficiency benchmarks.
Covid-19 PGM market analysis and scenarios
With extensive experience covering the PGM markets and industry fundamentals, SFA can provide you with our latest market outlook and the window of scenarios.
Human capital and organisational planning
The SFA team has completed many labour workforce projects, analysing demographic trends, forecasting future labour requirements across mining operations.
PGM price forecasting and project incentive pricing
SFA can provide accurate short-, medium- and long-term PGM price forecasts to support your business plans and contract negotiations.
PGM markets and supply risk dashboards
SFA provides regular data flows of mine supply and metallurgical pipelines, basket prices, mine economics, and PGM demand to assist strategic decision-making.
Metallurgical processing and commercial options
SFA has extensive experience in assessing clients' advanced mineral processing offtake options and evaluating indicative commercial terms.
'Black-box' PGM and macro scenario modelling
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.
Black swan events and PGM market impacts
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.
PGM investor Board packs and roadshows
SFA supports its clients on global roadshows to assist on capital raisings and converse with fund managers, institutional investors and family wealth officers.
Corporate ESG strategy and PGM stewardship
SFA works closely with value chain players to understand how materially significant ESG issues can be integrated into their wider company strategy.
Peer-group ESG benchmarking for PGMs
SFA's benchmarking of PGM producers on material ESG factors generates high-resolution insights for sustainability-conscious investors.
Cradle-to-grave ESG recycling studies
SFA's analysis of environmental footprints from recycled material in terms of greenhouse gases, waste generation and processing is helping secure new investments.
Macroeconomics and precious metals
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.
Automotive powertrains and PGM demand
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.
Emerging technologies – opportunities and threats
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.
PGM purchasing and new customer targets
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.
The future of cities and mobility solutions
SFA has advised mobility companies with their strategies, providing global or local industry context, benchmarking competitors, creating industry scenarios and identifying new opportunities.
PGM catalyst and chemicals market intelligence
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.
Long-term PGM recycling value chain assessments
SFA'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.
Jewellery pipeline mapping and econometrics
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.
PGM trade flows and stock reconciliation
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.
Closed and open-loop PGM market evaluation
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.
Formulating regional trading desk strategies
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.
How can we help you?
SFA (Oxford) provides bespoke, independent intelligence on the strategic metal markets, specifically tailored to your needs. To find out more about what we can offer you, please contact us.