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While platinum loses luster, byproduct rhodium shines bright

Major miners Anglo American and Impala shares gain as investors shift focus

A smelter at an Anglo American Platinum plant in Zimbabwe. Platinum makes up a shrinking share of profits for South African miners.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- For platinum miners in South Africa, the main production site for the precious metal, it is both the best of times and worst of times.

The market for platinum is in a slump, but this has done little to tarnish the shares of platinum miners that now earn a growing piece of their profits from rhodium, a key element for scrubbing nitrous oxides from emissions for which industrial demand is booming, and other byproducts.

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