Where does the metal come from and where is it being refined?

*The data represents submissions from 2019/2020, depending upon the financial year end of the refiner.

Gold Flow Transparency

Responsible Sourcing Audits must contain a confidential annex that details where every kilogram of gold was sourced 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 to protect confidentiality has been developed. In order to respect the source data, destination countries and regions are 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 are grouped with the nearest geographical region
  3. Countries are excluded from the region if they fall under the first criteria, to avoid double accounting
  4. Known or expected Good Delivery List (GDL) changes are 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 15 23
Germany 4 5
Japan 11 11
Russia 7 6
Switzerland 5 3
Asia & Australia 14 14
Europe & Africa 7 12
Americas 9 8
Total 72 82

Data Validation

Whilst the numbers for LSM are comparable to the official numbers, 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.

Country of Origin (CoO) data can also be compared to the refined output of a refinery to ensure that no ‘alchemical’ bad practices are taking place (you can’t get more out than you put in!). It is mandatory for refiners to supply refined output on an annual basis to LBMA and as this is the second year that the CoO data has been available, this has enabled an enhanced ‘sense-check’ to be performed. 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.