Tanaka Holdings Co’s TKG Laboratory Centre of Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo, which operates the Tanaka Precious Metals’ manufacturing business, has become the first company in Japan to acquire ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation for platinum and palladium analysis technology.

The accreditation recognizes that Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo’s techniques and repeatability of analytical results concerning the quantitative analysis of trace metals in platinum and palladium are compliant with international standards, and this is the first time this kind of accreditation has been awarded in Japan.

ISO/IEC 17025 is an international standard specifying the general requirements concerning the ability to perform testing and calibration, and it requires not only the operation of management systems such as those specified in ISO 9001, but also very strict and appropriate analysing ability.

With the accreditation, Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo is able to produce solid standard reference materials for analysing platinum and palladium with analysis levels compliant with international standards. Client companies and organizations performing analysis, such as smelters, will be able to analyse platinum and palladium with an even higher level of reliability than in the past.

In August 2010, Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo achieved ISO/IEC17025 accreditation for the analysis of trace metals in gold ahead of that for platinum and palladium, and has established a system providing reference materials for the analysis of gold. However, looking at the precious metals industry as a whole, despite efforts aimed at establishing a global standard for analysis techniques, a standard is yet to be finalized, and there are still outstanding issues such as analysis of precious metals being based upon the reference materials of each company or organization.

In particular, the price of precious metals such as platinum and palladium have continued to rise in recent years, and in addition to supply from mines, there is a growing trend of sourcing supplies from recycling of items such as used automotive catalyst and used jewellery. Ingot refined from such products requires higher reliability with regard to quality assurance due to factors such as the need to analyse the concentration of contamination by more elements.

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