*The data represents submissions from 2018/2019, depending upon the financial year end of the refiner.

Gold Flow Transparency

Responsible Sourcing Audits performed in 2019 for 2018 production must contain a confidential annex that details where every kilogram of gold was sourced from and the type of process used to produce it.

This information has enabled LBMA to produce a matrix showing where gold is produced against where gold is refined. The data is provided on a confidential basis and therefore a method has been developed. In order to respect the source data, destination countries and regions were grouped according to the following:

  1. Countries that have four or more refiners can be listed as the individual country
  2. Regions with only one refiner will be grouped with the nearest geographical region
  3. Countries have been excluded from the region that would fall under the first criteria to avoid double accounting
  4. Known or expected Good Delivery List (GDL) changes have been considered to enable trends to be studied (Applications, new listings and removals).

This has resulted in the following groupings:

Country/Region Gold Refiners Silver Refiners
China 13 26
Germany 5 5
Japan 11 13
Russia 6 6
Switzerland 5 4
Asia & Australia 13 10
Europe & Africa 9 11
Americas 9 8
Total 71 83

Whilst the numbers for LSM are comparable to the official numbers (approximately 92% of LSM production is refined through a GDL refiner), the amount of known ASM production being refined through these refineries is negligible.

The origin numbers can be compared to the official, known output of a Country and the destination numbers can be compared to the import data of a Country where the material is to be refined, although this may be harder to determine for Regions.

It is mandatory for refiners to supply refined output on an annual basis to LBMA. This has also enabled a ‘sense-check’ to be performed. As this is the first year that the sourcing data has become available, it was necessary, in some cases, to clarify numbers with the refiner.

Silver Flow Transparency

The same process as that used for gold was used to produce the silver matrix. In the case of silver, however, ASM sourcing is less significant.