The best performing commodity of 2021 is a raw material that most people will never have heard of – iridium. For a precious metal, iridium has achieved the types of returns that gold and silver investors could only dream of. Since the start of 2021 the price of iridium has increased by 140% to $6,300 per oz.
So whats behind the spectacular surge in prices?
Around 250,000 tonnes of iridium are mined each year with South Africa accounting for 80-85% of the worlds iridium output. Iridium is a byproduct of platinum and palladium mining, of which South Africa also plays a dominant role. However, when Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) closed a processing facility last year for several months it inadvertently created a supply shortfall just as the demand outlook for the metal improved.