Gold refiners 'seemingly ignore' conflict and human rights red flags

Better data could improve supply chains

James Baxter-Derrington
clock • 3 min read
Refiner Elemetal sourced more gold from Bolivia than the nation produced that year.
Image:

Refiner Elemetal sourced more gold from Bolivia than the nation produced that year.

Precious metals investors are likely to be exposed to companies not carrying out the “most basic checks” of imported gold, which could be supporting those who mine gold illegally, according to civil society organisation Global Witness.

A variety of companies involved in the transport and handling of gold, including refiners, appear to ignore red flags relating to potential connections with human rights abuses or conflict, with government agencies, customs and police often failing to take "any measures with regards to obvious warning signs despite domestic legal requirements". Investors 'cannot have confidence' LBMA gold is 'free of human rights abuses' Many of these refineries are listed on the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Good Delivery List, which investors and consumer facing companies utilise to ensur...

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