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No One Expected This Central Bank Move In Metals

Big news this week in the platinum sector. Confirming that this space is seeing some of the most critical shifts anywhere in the natural resources world.

As has been the case over the last few weeks, the developments center on the world's largest platinum producing nation, South Africa. Where industry is contemplating a unique strategy to save the embattled sector.

As reported by Reuters, a sweeping new accord has been drafted between South African platinum mining companies, labor unions, and the government. With one of the key points being a plan to increase central bank holdings of platinum as a reserve currency. Related: OPEC Divorce And Self-Destruction Thanks To Saudi Oil Strategy?

The document hasn't been released yet, with Reuters commenting on a leaked draft. But the news service said that the plan includes "wide interventions" aimed at encouraging central banks to use platinum as a reserve asset instead of gold. Particularly focusing on Brazil, Russia, India and China -- as well as South Africa itself.

The report gave little detail on what measures might be used to encourage these nations to buy platinum. But the suggestion is an intriguing one -- and could have big implications for the platinum price. Related: Can Oil Continue To Rally Like This?

The new agreement could also have some important implications for platinum production. With mining companies reportedly agreeing to hold off on closing uneconomic mines in South Africa, focusing instead on selling such assets so they can remain operational.

The report didn't discuss which entities might buy such loss-making mines. But this could be a prelude to strategic deals being done in the sector -- Russia, one of the nations mentioned as a potential platinum buyer, has indeed been very active in the Zimbabwe platinum mining sector recently. Related: Did The Fed Intentionally Spark A Commodity Sell-off?

The agreement will reportedly be signed by all parties on Monday, after which we should get more details on all of these plans. Watch for these developments, which could change the course of the global platinum sector.

Here's to new reserves,

Dave Forest

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