The Perth Mint and Security Matters are bringing the world’s first mine-to-product transparency solution to the gold industry during a period of global uncertainty.
Gold buyers are on the cusp of welcoming a technology that gives them 100 per cent confidence in ethically-sourced gold products.
The Perth Mint has joined forces with ASX-listed protection and authentication company Security Matters to commercialise the high-tech proprietary supply chain solution called trueGold.
The application will allow industry stakeholders to track the metal that they purchase from raw materials through to manufacturing and recycling.
This is possible through scientifically-proven molecular markers that are embedded in various stages of gold production, identifiable only to a unique energy reader.
Security Matters founder and chief executive Haggai Alon describes the molecular sequences as “very strong” and “powerful”.
“Significant changes can easily be made to supply chain processes when adopted by leading organisations and technology that can drive that change,” Alon
tells Safe to Work.
“By differentiating between and employing a different technique to each of the three major life cycles within the gold supply chain – raw material to production, production to commercial, commercial to recycle – we can create an entire technology driven ecosystem that promotes integrity, corporate transparency and accountability, anti-counterfeiting and sustainability.”
Metal obtained from war-torn areas, where child labour and other abhorrent practices are widespread, is indistinguishable to the end user from ethically sourced gold, according to The Perth Mint chief executive Richard Hayes.
“This complete transparency will instil even greater trust in a commodity which already provides the ultimate refuge during times of economic and geopolitical turmoil,” Hayes says.
Pre-dating the formation of Security Matters in 2015, Alon, the former chief coordinator of the Israeli military industry body at the Ministry of Defense, was exposed to the technology through his time at the government body.
He negotiated a licence to use the technology with the Government of Israel, paving the way for a breakthrough in identifying ethically-sourced metals, including diamonds.
“Australia is the natural house to grow this type of technology, adding to the fact that the country boasts a very strong culture of transparency and product liability,” Alon says.
“I call Australia a small America: same language, very similar regulations and strong federal governments – an ideal place to grow a technology like ours.
“The trueGold project perfectly demonstrates how easily big changes can be made to supply chains and distribution processes when adopted by leading organisations, and how technology can be used to drive change.”
The Perth Mint has long been at the forefront of setting the highest ethical standards across its operations as the world’s largest refiner of newly-mined gold and a fully integrated precious metals enterprise.
With Australian gold miners as major clients of The Perth Mint, it holds each company to standards of social, ethical and sustainable mining, or else face the enterprise’s rejection.
“The Perth Mint has always looked to ensure that the gold we source is ethically sourced,” Hayes says.
“We’ve been refining gold for over 120 years. Throughout that time and especially in more recent times, we’ve made sure the gold we’ve taken for refining has been ethically sourced.
“We understand the suppliers and the source of that gold. We have a history of turning away refining opportunities if we haven’t been satisfied with how the gold has been mined.”
The Perth Mint has been working with Security Matters for nearly two years in moving trueGold towards its expected launch in March.
trueGold will firstly be exclusive to The Perth Mint, before being available to all industry players through the precious metals enterprise.
Hayes believes that ethically-sourced gold can one day fetch a premium in the marketplace.
“If you look at the diamond industry, diamonds that are certified with ethical mining are typically traded at a premium or are easier to trade than those without a proper history behind them,” Hayes says.
“People are looking for ethically sourced food, ethically sourced clothing. We’re developing a growing market need as the world is moving more and more toward sustainability and ethically sourced products and services.”
Hayes is confident the role that gold plays as an investment will be more significant than ever before.
Given the level of uncertainties in the world, gold provides an effective hedge against global volatility during a period of record low interest rates, he concludes.
This article also appears in the March–April edition of Safe to Work.