Newsletter: LPPM Rhodium Sponge Accreditation


Due to the success of the Platinum and Palladium Sponge Accreditation project and requests from Good Delivery (GD) refiners, the LPPM Management Committee intends to create a Rhodium Sponge Accreditation List. With effect from January 2023, all refiners currently on the GD and Sponge lists will be entitled to apply for LPPM Rhodium Sponge Accreditation. Applications from refiners not on these lists will be welcome, they will need to go through a process very similar to the current Platinum and Palladium sponge new applicant rules.

A lot of work has been done in preparation by the LPPM referees and six other major primary and secondary LPPM GD refiners. This included two extensive round robin analyses exercises of Rhodium sponge samples and analytical method comparisons.
The LPPM Referees have prepared a set of standards for the accreditation of Rhodium sponge, this has resulted in a set of standards summarised below.

The objective is to facilitate and streamline the trade in Rhodium sponge and increase the confidence of all market participants when dealing with this material. As with Platinum and Palladium sponges, for practical security reasons, it will not be possible to have Rhodium Sponge accepted for spot value by the clearing banks and vaults, which means Rhodium sponge will not become good delivery material.

To be included on the LPPM Rhodium Sponge Accreditation list, GD refiners must pass a process very similar to the current GD Proactive Monitoring (PAM) and repeat that every three years. They will be required to provide sponge samples that will be analysed against the LPPM standards, full details are provided on the LME website.

Summary of Technical Accreditation Standards in the Sponge PAM Rules

  • Sampling – Because of the nature of the material, the refiner shall have a procedure in place guaranteeing the production and the sampling of a homogeneous sponge.
  • Purity – Minimum 99.9%; the existing PAM core list of impurities is recommended, but the refiner is responsible to detect and quantify all impurities.
  • Oxygen – Oxygen shall be determined in addition to core impurities, using the GD refiners’ normal method (Gas analysis, Loss on Reduction); the maximum content permitted of oxygen shall be of 0.5 parts per thousand (but this value is not taken into consideration for the purity determination)
  • MRLs – Maximum 10 ppm per element; total allowed 120ppm
  • Analytical Tolerances – 50 ppm per element

To meet the standards for Rhodium Sponge Accreditation, the GD refiners are asked to produce homogeneous sponge samples and follow these steps:

  • Take 3 samples of 5g each from that sponge; 2 samples are to be sent to the LPPM, the 3rd one is to be kept as a reserve sample by the refiner, to be used for further analysis by the refiner, if required.
  • Send the results obtained for the sponge (including purity, concentration of each impurity and oxygen content) to the LPPM, using the recommended template.

Full details of the LPPM Rhodium Sponge Accreditation rules and process will be sent to all GD refiners and published on the LPPM website.

If the sponge meets the technical standards above and the analyses submitted are in line with the material, the refiner will receive a certificate and be placed on the LPPM Rhodium Sponge Accredited List. They will be able to use the LPPM

Rhodium Sponge Accredited logo on their packaging and paperwork.

All the current rules and standards for LPPM Good Delivery ingots remain unchanged.

John Cullen - Chairman LPPM

John Fairley – Consultant LPPM

January 2023


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