asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will list the commercial and industrial uses of platinum, the quantity used annually in the United Kingdom and the sources of supply; what is the annual world production of platinum; what is the percentage mined in South Africa and the Warsaw Pact countries, respectively; and to what extent (a) exhaust emission converters for motor vehicles and (b) defence requirements have increased the use of the metal.
The main uses of the platinum group of metals in the United Kingdom are:
- Chemical catalytic processes,
- Electrical contacts,
- Petroleum refining catalytic processes,
- Scientific and laboratory equipment including electrodes,
- Glass-fibre production and glass processing,
- Dental applications,
- Pen nib alloys,
- Jewellery and decorative applications.