Valcambi refinery denies sourcing ‘dirty’ gold from Dubai

Valcambi says it is cooperating with NGOs in Peru (picture shows an area in the Madre de Dios province) to improve the working conditions of artisanal miners. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

The Swiss-based Valcambi refinery has rejected accusations about gold dealings with a controversial company in the United Arab Emirates.

This content was published on September 8, 2020 - 16:37
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Chief executive Michael Mesaric said the claims by the non-governmental organisation Swissaid were unfounded.

In a report published earlier this year, Swissaid accused Valcambi of buying gold from the company Kaloti in Dubai, which allegedly imported the precious metal illegally from mines in conflict-stricken areas on the African continent.

“These allegations are wrong,” Mesaric told the French-language daily Le Temps in Lausanne.

He said Valcambi had been cleared of any wrongdoing in two audits by the LBMA – the London Bullion Market Association, the global authority on precious metals – over the past two years.

“We have been transparent about the origins of the gold deliveries, be it with the Swiss customs authorities or with the LBMA.”

Mesaric added that Valcambi had also given all the information required by the Swiss precious metal industry.

He did not confirm or deny whether Valcambi is still doing business with Kaloti.

However, he said Valcambi – the world’s leading gold refinery, based in southern Switzerland – worked with artisanal miners in Peru and Colombia. He said the company supported efforts by NGOs to improve the working conditions there.

Tracing system

Valcambi is also developing a system to improve transparency of the gold supply chain, according to the company’s chief operating officer Simone Knobloch.

“We are keen to show our ability to ensure a complete tracing system for legally mined material from any country in the world,” Knobloch is quoted in the Le Temps interview.

He said the system would be put in place in the next few months and is based on blockchain technology.

The best way to tackle the issue of dubious gold is to organise a round table with representatives of the refinery industry, NGOs as well as the media, according to Mesaric.

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