About the element

Platinum is a chemical element with the symbol Pt and atomic number 78. It is a dense, malleable, ductile, highly unreactive, precious, silverish-white transition metal. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platino, meaning “little silver”.


Key facts

  • Symbol: Pt
  • Melting point: 1,768 °C
  • Atomic number: 78
  • Atomic mass: 195.084 u


Most of the targeted by-products elements are Critical Raw Materials (CRMs). CRMs combine raw materials of high importance to the EU economy and of high risk associated with their supply.

Platinum Group Metals are part of the EU 2020 Critical Raw Materials List. Their criticality is considered to be high.

Main uses

Auto-catalysts: Platinum is the principal active component in catalytic converters and filters fitted to diesel-powered vehicles to reduce harmful exhaust emissions.

Jewellery: jewellery accounted for about 29% of world Platinum demand in 2018, compared with close to 9% in Europe.

And also: in chemical manufacture (use of Platinum-based catalysts for the production of bulk and specialty chemicals), in pharmaceuticals and biomedical components (active ingredient in anti-cancer drugs, electrodes, biomedical implants, and dental restorative alloys), in the petroleum sector for crude oil refining, in electronics (as critical component of the magnetic coating on hard disks, high-temperature thermocouples, and in fuel cells as a catalyst), and in glass manufacturing (notably for the production of reinforcement fibreglass, glass for LCD and plasma screens, ceramic glass, optical & ophthalmic glass and container glass).

Map of kernel density of weighted Platinum scores in Europe by DBQ geostatistical method

The map below indicates few areas of potential interest for Platinum prospection in Europe. It is part of the “Mapping of by-product potential evaluation” (Deliverable 2.1) led by consortium member BRGM.

This map was made based on the current available data and the DBQ geostatistical method, performing a kernel density calculation. The kernel density calculation is a statistical tool which estimates the probability density function of a random variable.