Perth Mint’s Been Buying Hundreds Of Millions Worth Of “Conflict Gold” Annually?

This would be a breach of its global accreditation and internal policies…

(by Half Dollar) File this one under “monitor”.

Because it could lead to some interesting developments in the gold market.

Or not.

Not that there haven’t been interesting developments in 2020 already, such as (in no particular):

  • Mine closures
  • Refiner closures
  • Mint closures
  • Logistics disruptions

If those four developments were not convincing enough for the fundamentally bullish case for gold, we may be adding one more interesting development that can quickly add pressure to the global supply chain disruptions we’ve already seen: Conflict gold.

From the Australian Financial Review (bold added for emphasis and commentary):

The Perth Mint, owned by the West Australian government, buys up to $200 million of “conflict gold” annually from a convicted killer in Papua New Guinea, a breach of its global accreditation and internal policies.

An investigation by The Australian Financial Review can reveal that the historic mint has repeatedly ignored staff concerns over purchases from small-scale gold miners in PNG, a practice heavily criticised for using child labour, degrading the environment through the use of mercury, and promoting conflict.

Chaired by former Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh and backed by a state government guarantee, the Perth Mint is the largest refiner of newly mined gold in the world and in February said it was at the “forefront of setting the highest possible ethical standards.”

But insiders, speaking on the condition they remain anonymous, said the mint is paying little more than lip service to this pledge by dealing with PNG firm, Golden Valley.

The article is much longer, but suffice to say there’s an interesting point to be made here, and I’ll make it as a question: Over the years, Gold Bugs and Silver Bugs found hope in the supposed “justice” that is always just around the corner, and that we’re finally going to see markets that are free from the manipulation and rigging of gold & silver by governments, central banks, and agents working on the behalf of both, so in that same sense, will the Perth Mint, or perhaps others who find themselves purchasing legally impermissible “conflict gold”, make any real changes, or will things simply continue to maintain the current status quo?

Side Note: Just a friendly reminder that unlike digits in an electronic account which are easily tracked and traced, or unlike cash bills with serial numbers and other unique identifiers, gold (and silver), can be melted-down, again and again, making their exact place of origin unknown.