Precious Metals Refiners Face New LBMA Environmental Standard

The comments below are an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by Martin Creamer

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) has launched a new standard that addresses environmental as well as sustainability issues in gold and silver markets.

New LBMA Environmental Standard | BullionBuzz

For refiners to be listed by the LBMA, they must demonstrate that they have met the guidance under a third-party audit.

If a mining company is not doing the right thing by the environment and meeting the sustainability agenda, refiners can’t take that material, LBMA CE Ruth Crowell said.

When the guidance was launched in 2012, the main focus was ensuring that links with conflicts, money laundering and terrorist financing were broken.

“We always had the intention to look at environmental issues but decided to start with those three. Now, almost a decade later, I’m happy that we’re getting to the environmental issues,” said Crowell.

While 85% to 90% of global production goes through the refiners on the LBMA list, an estimated 15% is outside of that.

While the LBMA has a good enforcement policy, it means that refiners as well as other participants have inhibited greater progress.

Transgressors are removed from the list as part of the LBMA’s zero-tolerance approach to precious metals being knowingly taken from conflict-affected areas.

The market in London holds more than $300 billions’ worth of gold in vaults. The average daily turnover is about $35 billion per day.

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