Written by on July 19, 2020

As demand for gold as a safe haven surged during the coronavirus pandemic, concerns about sourcing the precious metal responsibly have again been thrust into the spotlight.

A report from Global Witness alleging one of the world’s biggest gold refiners has worked with a supplier that was at risk of having bought conflict metal originating in Sudan is the latest in a series of calls from advocacy groups urging the London Bullion Market Association to scrutinize suppliers more closely.

Gold, which is trading near an eight-year high, is one of four conflict minerals that U.S.-listed companies from Tiffany & Co. to Apple Inc. must trace and report on to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Suppliers are coming under pressure to show they’ve got processes and policies in place to make sure the metal hasn’t financed conflict or been linked to corruption or human rights abuses.

In its report on Thursday, Global Witness alleges that Swiss refiner Valcambi SA bought large amounts of gold from Dubai-based Kaloti Precious Metals Group, which in turn was at risk of having purchased Sudanese conflict gold. It said there are gaps in the LBMA’s responsible sourcing standards that don’t generally require refiners to disclose their suppliers.

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