Urban Mining Gone Wild

The increase in theft of catalytic converters is really starting to make headlines across the country.  Toyota SUVs and trucks appear to be the prime targets as their catalytic converters contain more of the three precious and rare earth metals the thieves are targeting:  1) platinum, which sells for $1,785 an ounce;  2)  palladium, which sells for $765 an ounce; and 3) rhodium, which sells for $2,300 an ounce.   SUVs are the auto of choice due to greater ground clearance and ease of dislodging the exhaust system.

Urban mining by the new land pirates.

Related Headlines

El Dorado County sheriff reports catalytic-converter thefts spike – Sacramento Bee
Brazen thieves target truck exhaust systems across Sonoma County – Press Democrat
Catalytic converter thefts 
on rise, costing local drivers – Middletown Journal
Boy Leads Police on Chase, Rash of Catalytic Converters Stolen – Shelby-Utica Patch
Precious metals prices tied to catalytic thefts – Vancouver Sun

This entry was posted in Commodities, Gold, Rare Earth Elements, Technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Urban Mining Gone Wild

  1. Ellie K says:

    Note that rare earth metals are NOT the same as precious metals! It is a common mistake. The Reuters article you linked to does NOT make that mistake. I hope it doesn’t seem like I am saying that I know more than Reuters, because I don’t!

    Gold, platinum, irridium, palladium,rhodium and silver are precious metals. For more about the difference between the rare earth’s and precious metals, I wrote this up: http://myindigolives.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/rare-earth-metals-shortage/

    I really liked your post about the Travails of a Rare-earth Trader a few posts back. Unfortunately, most of those RE mining companies are super speculative. I was doing what you were doing about a year ago, following Molycorp and REE etc. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious way at the moment of investing in RE’s. I’ve read plenty of cautionary tales on Seeking Alpha about it. But then, you probably have too!

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