LBMA has made significant progress on its strategic initiatives over the past year, as we continue our journey to improve the integrity of the market and maintain higher standards.

In the face of repeatedly challenging economic and geopolitical news, gold spent most of 2023 in the spotlight, trading between $1,810 and $2,050 per oz.

Inflation is gradually coming back under control in developed countries, with the US ahead of the Euro area and the UK and Australia bringing up the rear. Economic growth has not slowed as much as feared from the monetary tightening, but previous risks remain and new ones are arising, not least in the Levant.

High inflation has a habit of sticking around once it becomes built in and regaining control can be difficult and expensive. It would be prudent for both the developed and emerging economies to reinforce their inflation defences going forwards.

There’s a lot more work for all of us to do together to ensure the future sustainability of our industry.

Addressing the challenges in the responsible sourcing space, LBMA launched its new Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Strategy in 2023, built on the industry-wide Declaration signed at the Lisbon Conference in 2022. It’s important that we continue to promote this agenda alongside partner organisations such as the World Gold Council.

There’s a lot more work for all of us to do together to ensure the future sustainability of our industry. Another of LBMA’s key successes of this past year has to been to reinforce the narrative on Responsible Sourcing and, within that, to see some movement on Good Delivery List (GDL) Refiners sourcing Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) gold.

Refiner data published in our 2023 Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Report shows an increase in sourcing of ASM material, which rose from 16 to 66 tonnes in 2021. Although welcome, this is still small: responsible ASM material now accounts for almost 2% of GDL production, up from less than 1% the previous year, but at least it is moving in the right direction and the data quality is also improving.

This year’s LBMA/LPPM Global Precious Metals Conference in Barcelona was an outstanding success. A record number of attendees saw some fascinating and thought-provoking speakers, including three keynotes, which – along with various networking opportunities – were a real highlight of the precious metals calendar for 2023. I am very grateful to the Public Affairs Committee and the LBMA events team for their hard work to deliver the Conference and our other events.

Thank you for your engagement and support throughout the last year. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you during 2024.

Paul Fisher

LBMA Chairman