Rhodium is a silver-white metallic
element, is highly resistant to corrosion, and is
extremely reflective. It is used as a finish for jewelry,
mirrors, and search lights. It is also used in electric
connections and is alloyed with platinum for aircraft
turbine engines. Another use is manufacturing of nitric
acid and used in hydrogenation of organic compounds.
Rhodium usage is dominated by automotive catalyst applications
where it is used together with platinum and palladium
to control exhaust emissions.
Major sources of supply
South Africa is the major source,
accounting for almost 60% of the world's rhodium supply
Russia is the second largest producer, although its
sales are, as with the other PGMs, volatile and subject
to political intervention.
High rhodium prices during the late
1980s led to increased rhodium production from South
Africa. This increased supply was primarily responsible
for a declining rhodium price during the 1990s.Interruptions
to Russian supply since early 1997 have helped the
rhodium price to recover strongly. Kitco provides
historical price charts updating on a daily basis.