Global Precious Metals Market Projected to Recover from Halt on Mining Activities amid the COVID 19 Pandemic
The global precious metals market was valued USD 187.06 Billion in 2021 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 8.73% over the forecast period from 2021 to 2030, as per a market study by Quince Market Insights. As COVID-19 spread worldwide, shareholders rushed to precious metals as an economical safe shelter. The prices of gold increased along with silver, reflecting the common connection among precious metals in the times of economic unpredictability.
Precious metal is not only providing financial protection in the fight against COVID-19. These precious metals have broad usage in the medical field. Most people associate them with dental use.
Researchers have developed drugs and tested that by using silver, it can protect and fight against virus. Serological assays, is a type of blood test, which employ gold and silver nanoparticles to determine quickly if antigens are present in a patient’s bloodstream. These are critical and important to test to determine, if the person is infectious and also to confirm that donated plasma used to treat ill patients is safe or unsafe. Beyond therapeutic uses and silver diagnostic in the fight against COVID-19, it is also found that in some of the fabric of masks. Silver is not only an anti-viral but also protect against other bacteria and eliminates smell, which helps while wearing the masks for a long period of time.
The Fight Against COVID-19 Highlights a Trend
In healthcare there is a growing demand for precious metals. According to National health spending in the U.S. is anticipated to rise to 19.4% of GDP (gross domestic product) by 2027, or USD 6 trillion a year, which represents a generational shift in investigating, according to NHE fact sheet published by U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Due to their unique physical qualities precious metal are anticipated to play a role in this shift.
In treatments for certain cancers, gold and platinum are very much useful. By recent developments this role has the potential to grow and accelerate. Due to its natural property, it slows dividing both cancerous and healthy cells, for chemotherapy treatments platinum (Pt) has long been used, it has also been included in drugs known as carboplatin and cisplatin.
Gold nanoparticles have become a new type of more targeted treatment. Researchers are testing some of the therapies that use gold-silica nano shells to target cancer cells and prevent the diseased areas from spreading further. Similarly, the platinum treatment, essentially chokes the diseased cells, but as compared and tested, the gold nanoparticles are more helpful in attacking the unwanted cells.
In testing and treating HIV/AIDS gold nanoparticles have also shown potential. With the help of gold nanoparticles researchers were able to detect the HIV virus when the virus had a very little and initial development. Which brings hope of initial detection and treatment. Gold has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce joint pain and inflammation. Gold is also used in rapid tests for malaria, which allows doctors to test the disease within 20 minutes. In some parts of the world where they lack access to labs there this can be successful.
Biological properties of Platinum and palladium are similar. Platinum can be used in many ways while palladium can stand in platinum’s stead for some of the biological purposes.
Precious metals react with other chemicals in some of the naturally occurring environments. Some of the precious metals are electrically conductive, they are strong and not easy to break. This has encouraged the wide use of platinum in catheters. Electrophysiology catheters are electrodes used to measure cardiac muscle activity, which is possible by the platinum electrodes.
Due to the anti-microbial properties, germs do not spread on a silver surface, which has made it an ideal component of many of the devices and tools used in a hospital. Due to its toxicity silver is much more useful in medical devices than in medicines. High amount of silver in the body can cause Argyria, a grey or blue hue in the skin. But due to its germ protective property, it has a place in the medical technology field. Staphylococcus aureus, is a highly infectious and dangerous bacterium, which spread rapidly in the hospitals. To limit the spread, hospitals often use equipment, which are silver lined, from stethoscope to surgical tools and even the furniture.
Platinum is highly used in medical devices like pacemaker and stents. Platinum reduces the probability that the body will reject the devices. It also appears in x-rays, which allows healthcare workers to investigate the progress of the surgery or operation.
As our society ages and need for healthcare applications increases, the demand and use for precious metals in medicine will go on to expand. This often-overlooked contribution of precious metals in fighting various diseases speaks to the broader value of these precious metals and their critical multi-varied roles.
Recent Developments in the Precious Metal
· May 2021- Newmont corporation (U.S.) completed the acquisition of GT gold by acquiring the remaining 85.1% shares of the company. With the acquisition, the company strengthened its portfolio. The acquisition includes the Tatogga project, which will contribute to the production of copper and gold in the future.
· April 2021- Barrick Gold Corporation’s (Canada) Loulo-Gounkoto’s third underground mine to start delivering gold. The mine is anticipated to produce an output of 19.8 tons of gold by the end of 2021.
Umicore (Belgium), PX Group (U.K), Materion (U.K), Sims Recycling Solutions (U.P), Johnson Matthey (U.K), Abington Reldan Metals (U.S), Tanaka, Dowa Holdings (Japan), Heraeus (Germany), Sino-Platinum Metals (China), Asahi Holdings (Japan)