The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) has released its first Responsible Sourcing Report, which lays the benchmark for future trends analysis and insight into the gold and silver sourcing and refining industry.
LBMA chairperson Paul Fisher notes that the organisation compiled the report to increase transparency and public disclosure, both being “vital parts of driving a continuous improvement in standards”.
He says the LBMA seeks to lead by example by committing not only to enhanced yearly reporting on its responsible sourcing programme, but also working to provide greater transparency on incidents as they occur during the year.
Although the LBMA produces a yearly review of its overall work programme, which has taken place since 2017, he says this is the first year the organisation is providing a dedicated report on responsible sourcing.
“This enhanced reporting is intended to give all stakeholders, particularly those outside the industry, further clarity on and confidence in the responsible sourcing programme. It should also enhance the ability to ask questions, understand the challenges we face and contribute to the ongoing improvements in standards.”
This is also the first time the LBMA is publishing country-of-origin statistics for all the gold and silver being refined by the organisation's good delivery list (GDL) refiners. Only refiners whose bars have been accredited by the LBMA as meeting the exacting standards for trading on the global over-the-counter market appear in the GDL.
The LBMA points out that, should a GDL refinery fail to meet its zero-tolerance targets, which include child labour, then it will be removed from the list.
Meanwhile, the report also illustrates the production and refinery destinations for gold and silver originating or ending up being refined in the regions of Africa, East Asia, Eurasia, the Middle East, South and South-East Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania.
Because this is the first edition, it covers only the 2019 period.
Focusing on Africa, the report finds that the continent, in total, accounts for 381 t of gold being produced through large-scale mining (LSM), while artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) accounts for 102 t. Gold recycling in Africa accounts for 52 t.
The continent sent 7 208 kg of recycled gold to China, while 257 kg of LSM gold and 2 kg of recycled gold went to Germany.
Switzerland was also a main offtaker of all three types of gold originating in Africa, with 148 157 kg of LSM gold and 36 227 kg of recycled gold having gone to Switzerland in 2019. ASM from Africa to Switzerland accounted for 99 kg.
Asia and Australia accounted for the offtaking of 62 kg of LSM gold from Africa.
Africa-originating LSM gold accounted for 230 345 kg of gold either going to refineries in Africa and Europe, while ASM accounted for 2 514 kg between the two continents.
Recycled gold accounted for 8 830 kg either being sent to refineries in Africa or Europe.
In terms of silver production, Africa produced 111 t of LSM silver and 30 t of recycled silver material in 2019.
In terms of offtake, Africa accounted for sending 21 078 kg of LSM silver to China for refining, while Germany accounted for 281 kg of LSM silver and only 1 kg of recycled silver.
Africa also sent 26 255 kg of silver to Switzerland, while recycled silver accounted for 11 161 kg of silver. Silver ASM accounted for 4 kg being sent to refineries in Switzerland.
Asia and Australia accounted for 1 838 kg of silver coming from Africa, in addition to 11 kg from LSM.
Europe and Africa refined 63 824 kg of LSM silver, while 17 471 kg stemmed from recycled silver material.
The Americas acquired 413 kg of silver ASM material.