Trusted advisors for recyclers
SFA (Oxford) has, over a number of years, been contracted to work discreetly with numerous companies throughout the PGM recycling value chain, providing assistance with due diligence on scrap processing facilities, filling underutilised capacity, sourcing feed material, understanding the economics of recycling, evaluating opportunities in emerging markets or producing a business case for a new entrant. The team has also provided in-depth analysis of the PGM value chain for spent autocatalyst recycling for a major refining company, analysis of the European and US catalyst markets; long-term forecasts of volumes available for recycling, including primary and secondary refinery capacity estimates, due diligence on a European recycling operation, as well as business valuations and strategic investment and option reviews for major refining and recycling companies.
Tracking recycling flows
This experience has allowed us to develop a comprehensive understanding of the PGM recycling business and, using our extensive database on PGM end-use and sophisticated algorithms, we have quantified recycling volumes in autocatalyst, jewellery and electronic applications, including details of processing infrastructure capacity limits and economics. SFA has tracked the development of PGM usage and subsequent scrap generation in the autocatalyst, jewellery, and electrical and electronic sectors. This supply-side analysis for autocatalysts and these assumptions are underpinned by data on vehicle production, sales, trade, age distribution, collector locations and vehicle parc, as well as an understanding of historical, regional catalyst introduction and associated changes in loadings. The analysis has enabled us to model and define, by region, the existing and potential future volumes of PGMs and associated ceramic components available for recovery and recycling.
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.
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). 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 the legislative environment.
Long-term forecast of PGM volumes available for recycling/PGM primary and secondary refinery capacity estimates
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 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 proposed value accretive options.
Business valuation of a major PGM recycler
SFA (Oxford) assessed the overall competitiveness of a refinery 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.
Solutions for recyclers
Working with clients and third parties, SFA has a long track record of providing technical due diligence and financial modelling support to help secure future funding from investors and lenders.
Clients have used SFA to provide the analytical link with banks and financial institutions to support PGM investment decision-making and provide robust market support.
SFA is a trusted advisor to Board members and senior management of significant stakeholders and provides regular assistance to strategy and planning efforts.
SFA regularly 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 future PGM recycling investments.
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'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 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 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 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.
Market Outlook reports for recyclers
A comprehensive study of recycled autocatalysts from scrapyards, collection, decanners, smelting and refining players, technology developments and economics.
Unrivalled insights and definitive answers to PGM purchasing dynamics, metal flows, trading and pricing factors affecting platinum, palladium and rhodium.
Released every three months, this price risk-focused report details-impacting factors for platinum, palladium and rhodium markets for the next three years.
A proprietary report unlocking the current and future demands for precious metals (Pt, Ir, and Ru) used in electrolysers and fuel cells for the hydrogen economy.
In collaboration with Heraeus, this weekly report makes sure all the key precious metal and macroeconomic developments are fully analysed by the SFA team.
An assessment of PGM purchasing, trade flows and end-use consumption as well as mapping key industry players for strategic investment.
Bottom-up evaluation of the precious metals trading environment, regulatory framework, end-use markets, recycling volumes and key players.
A critical impact study of PGM consumption by country of major-end uses, and future metal requirements by company.