A new DVD documentary, “The Story of Platinum”, has been produced in South Africa by Neels de Klerk, an independent video producer with experience in the South African gold, coal and platinum mining industries. The documentary grew from de Klerk’s interest in the subject, and his desire to illustrate to workers in the platinum industry how their contribu- tion fits into the bigger picture (1). To paint this pic- ture in full required the collaboration of many inter- national companies, including Anglo Platinum in South Africa and Johnson Matthey in the UK. The pro- duction of the DVD was sponsored by TWP Holdings, a company which provides engineering and consult- ing services to the mining industry. All proceeds from its sale will go to the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) Scholarship Trust Fund, a charity which aims to promote careers in the minerals industry and supports deserving students in relevant disciplines who are in need of financial assistance (2).
The DVD is presented in two parts, each of approx- imately 45 minutes’ duration. The first part summaris- es the history of platinum, from the first recorded encounters in the 16th century to the discovery of platinum in the Bushveld Complex in the early 20th century, and finally the establishment of full refining facilities in South Africa.The second part of the doc- umentary deals in more detail with the processes involved in extracting platinum from its ore, and also briefly discusses the metal’s many applications.