WiPGM Newsletter Dec 2021
Dec 2021 Wilma Swarts
We take a moment to wish all of you a happy, healthy and peaceful festive season. In many ways 2021 has been more of the same compared to 2020, and in many ways it has been different. So many of us have been deeply touched by loss and sadness, but there has also been joy and strength and resilience. As we look back and bid the year farewell, we take time to acknowledge all of this emotion, gather strength from our common purpose and look to make 2022, a year of growth, healing and pure joy.
At Women in PGMs 2021 has been a year filled with interesting topics, growth in our numbers and progress in the development of our project to help the platinum group industry grow in expertise, knowledge and representation. We are grateful to all our subscribers, our members and especially our sponsors who have supported us not only with funds but also with guidance and genuine interest.
September Virtual Networking Event
What a spectacular reflection on PGMs for 2021 and a look ahead at 2022. The event, if it were to take place in person, would have been held in New York, and so aptly, Sarah Masterson our board member and chair of the Americas Chapter masterfully hosted the event. Unlike other events so far, Sarah switched matters up and ran a couple of polls to give opportunity for interaction. Nicky Shiels navigated us through the ups and downs of platinum, palladium and rhodium which – on the one hand – fell victim to pandemic induced supply chain shortages and on the other became the benefactor of green investor money. Suki Cooper then focused specifically on how this new normal trading environment shaped the response of funds and institutional investors in a bid to manage exposure and risk. The focus then shifted to supply factors where Becky Berube outlined some of the new challenges the recycling industry faced with all time high metal prices. Yana Stunis added a perspective on the physical sales and management of mine supply during this period.
December European Chapter Event
We have for some time now promised that we were setting up regional chapters that will plan and coordinate in person events in the regions to augment and strengthen the events we are hosting and planning from a global perspective. Yana Stunis, appointed to our board in June 2021 and chair of the European Chapter, raced out of the chapter blocks and together with her amazing committee members Anna Marchisio and Lynda Si-Ahmed, put together a session focusing on two aspects – how electrification will shape the PGM world and how WiPGMs could help shape our members future within this context. The team invited Michelle Lynch as keynote speaker to step through the transformation towards electrification which will see electricity consumption needs double by 2040. Michelle, a PhD in Chemicals and Catalysis and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), proceeded to explain how catalysis and metals are enabled and required to address these needs. Following on from this very informative session, we broke into 4 breakaways sessions where our members had an opportunity to share thoughts on future events and ideas to shape our mentor/mentee programme.