Platinum, a very valuable and important metal, falls in the category of strategic metals. This very heavy (special grade 14 to 19) metal does neither burn in fire nor melt in acid, but can take any shape, this steel white metal is so ductile, that it can take the shape of a wire with a diameter of 1/8000 cm. Because of its inert behaviour to acid and fire, it is used to make chemical apparatus, resistance, thermometer, thermocouples, electric furnace and as an industrial catalyst. Platinum is in demand in photography, dentistry, and in jewellery besides its use in making mixed alloys.
Platinum generally occurs in nature in the native state or as mixed alloys with palladium, osmium, iridium, rhodium, and ruthenium. Sperylite (PtAs2) is a platinum mineral.
No deposits of platinum have so far been reported in India. However, traces of platinum have been reported from the river sands of the Noa-Dihing River in Assam and the Guram River in Purulia district in West Bengal. Besides, the waste mines water from the Kolar goldfield is also reported to contain platinum.
In India, the demand for the platinum group of metals (PGM) is on the increase.