Where is Rhodium found? World Reserves; Top 5 producing Countries, Facts & More

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Where is Rhodium found? Often overshadowed by its more famous sibling, gold, is a precious metal with unique properties that make it invaluable in several applications. 

From catalytic converters in cars to fine jewelry, rhodium has carved a niche for itself. But where does this shiny, silver-white metal come from? 

Let’s embark on a journey across the world to uncover the secret locations of rhodium deposits.

Global Overview of Rhodium Reserves 

The tale of rhodium is a global one, intricately woven into the geological stories of various continents. 

This metal’s distribution is not only geographically diverse but is also a testament to the varying geological processes that have shaped our planet over millennia. 

With rhodium playing a pivotal role in industries ranging from automotive to jewelry, understanding its global reserves is crucial.

The Top Rhodium-Reserving Countries

The world’s rhodium story is diverse, stretching from the deep mines of South Africa to Russia’s expansive territories, each with its unique tale and contribution.

South Africa: The Rhodium Giant 

South Africa’s diverse landscapes and rich cultural tapestry have another feather in their cap – being the leading producer of rhodium. 

Accounting for a whopping 80% of the global rhodium supply, South Africa’s Bushveld Complex is one of the largest PGE deposits in the world. 

This region’s unique geology not only makes it rich in rhodium but also other PGE metals. Interesting fact: South Africa’s dominance in the rhodium market means that any disruptions in its mining operations can lead to significant fluctuations in global rhodium prices.

Rhodium in Russia 

Russia, a country known for its vastness and rich history, is also a key player in the rhodium market. 

Contributing approximately 12% to the global rhodium supply, Russia’s Norilsk region stands out as a significant PGE deposit area. 

While Russia’s contribution is dwarfed by South Africa’s, its reserves are vital for diversifying the global supply chain. 

Did you know? The cold Siberian regions, where these mines are located, pose unique challenges, making mining operations a testament to human resilience and innovation.

North American Reserves 

When it comes to North America, both the United States and Canada have pitched in, though their combined contribution remains below 5% of the global supply. 

The Stillwater Complex in Montana and the Sudbury Basin in Ontario are notable for their PGE-rich deposits. 

An intriguing tidbit: The Sudbury Basin, formed from a massive ancient meteorite impact, is not only a source of rhodium but also a significant geological landmark.

South American Exploration 

South America’s contribution to the global rhodium market is still in its nascent stages. Countries like Brazil and Colombia show potential, but their combined output is less than 2%. 

However, ongoing explorations might unveil richer deposits in the future. A fact to ponder: 

The unique topography and vast unexplored territories of the Amazon could hold geological mysteries yet to be discovered.

Europe’s Contribution 

Europe’s involvement in the rhodium narrative is modest, contributing roughly 1% to the global supply. However, regions like the Ural Mountains in Russia (extending into Europe) and certain areas in Scandinavia hold promise. A nugget of information: Europe’s focus on sustainable mining practices could lead to innovative, environmentally-friendly extraction techniques in the future.

The African Scenario 

While South Africa is the star of the show, other African nations like Zimbabwe and Botswana also contribute, albeit on a smaller scale. 

Together, they add another 2% to the global supply. It’s fascinating to note that Africa’s vast landscapes and diverse geology might still hold untapped rhodium reserves, waiting to be discovered.

Comparing Rhodium Supply Production by Country

CountryKey Mining Regions% of Global Supply
South AfricaBushveld Complex80%
RussiaNorilsk Region12%
North AmericaStillwater (USA), Sudbury (Canada)<5%
South AmericaVarious (e.g., Brazil, Colombia)<2%
EuropeUral Mountains, Scandinavia1%
Other African NationsVarious (e.g., Zimbabwe, Botswana)2%

This table provides a clear overview of rhodium production across the globe, emphasizing the significant role South Africa plays in the market.

Top Rhodium Producing Mining Companies 

As we delve deeper into the world of rhodium, it’s vital to recognize the key players that bring this precious metal from the heart of the Earth to our industries and markets.

These companies navigate the challenges of mining, processing, and distribution, ensuring that rhodium continues to play its crucial role in various sectors.

Anglo American Platinum 

Often referred to as Amplats, Anglo American Platinum is the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, and by extension, a significant player in the rhodium market. 

With its operations primarily centered in the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, the company boasts of a rich portfolio of assets. 

Amplats, through its commitment to sustainable mining and community development, has set benchmarks in the industry.

H3: Norilsk Nickel 

Hailing from Russia, Norilsk Nickel is not only the country’s top producer of rhodium but also a global leader in the production of nickel and palladium. 

The company’s operations in the cold terrains of Siberia make its endeavors particularly challenging, yet its contribution to the global rhodium supply remains substantial.

Impala Platinum 

Another heavyweight from South Africa, Impala Platinum (or Implats), stands as a testament to the nation’s dominance in the rhodium industry. 

Operating primarily in the Bushveld Complex, Implats has established itself as a leader in mining and processing, with a keen eye on sustainable practices and community upliftment.


Merging the operations of Sibanye Gold and Stillwater Mining, Sibanye-Stillwater has risen to prominence in the PGE market. 

With mining operations in both South Africa and the USA, this company plays a pivotal role in rhodium production on two continents.

Northam Platinum 

Yet another stalwart from South Africa, Northam Platinum has been in the rhodium business for decades. 

With a focus on responsible mining and a commitment to innovation, Northam continues to be a significant contributor to the global rhodium supply.

Comparing the Top Rhodium Mining Companies (2021)

CompanyCountry of OperationKey MinesRevenue (2021)Profit Margin (2021)Total AssetsNumber of Employees
Anglo American PlatinumSouth AfricaBushveld Complex$17.6 Billion22%$32 Billion25,000
Norilsk NickelRussiaNorilsk Region$15.5 Billion30%$45 Billion80,000
Impala PlatinumSouth AfricaBushveld Complex$6.8 Billion19%$9 Billion40,000
Sibanye-StillwaterSouth Africa, USABushveld, Stillwater$7.5 Billion21%$10 Billion88,000
Northam PlatinumSouth AfricaZondereinde, Booysendal$2.5 Billion15%$4.8 Billion12,000

Please be aware that the financial health and operational scale of mining companies can change yearly based on global metal prices, operational challenges, and other macroeconomic factors. 

Always refer to the latest annual reports or quarterly updates for the most current figures.

Bottom Line

Rhodium, with its silver-white brilliance and remarkable properties, remains a cornerstone for various industries. Its global journey, from the mines of South Africa to the markets of the world, is a tale of geology, enterprise, and human endeavor. 

As we’ve explored its origins, reserves, and key producers, it’s evident that rhodium’s story is as multifaceted as the metal itself. As industries evolve and demands shift, rhodium’s role may change, but its luster will undoubtedly continue to shine bright.

If you wish to learn about where other metals such as titaniumiridiumruthenium or palladium can be found you are free to check out our other guides in the links above. Thank you for reading!

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