LBMA reinstates accreditation of Kyrgyz gold refinery

Image courtesy of Centerra Gold.

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) said on Wednesday it had reinstated its accreditation of a precious metals refinery in Kyrgyzstan, allowing it to sell metal in the London market, the world’s largest.

The LBMA said in September it had suspended its accreditation of Kyrgyzaltyn JSC for failing to meet its responsible sourcing standards, without giving details.

The association said on Wednesday it had closed an investigation into the refinery initiated after it failed to deliver an audit report for 2020.

“They gave us everything we needed and answered all our questions,” said the LBMA’s general counsel, Sakhila Mirza.

LBMA accreditation is valuable to gold refiners because major banks that dominate precious metals trading tend to handle only metal from those on the association’s “good delivery” list.

“As of Tuesday, 3 May 2022, Kyrgyzaltyn JSC was reinstated to LBMA’s Good Delivery List (GDL),” the LBMA said.

“All gold and silver refined during the suspension is considered to be compliant with GDL rules and, therefore, Good Delivery,” it said.

Kyrgyzaltyn was last year embroiled in a dispute with Canadian miner Centerra Gold, whose Kumtor gold mine was seized by the Kyrgyz government in May 2021.

Centerra accused Kyrgyzaltyn, which is state-owned and Centerra’s largest shareholder, of involvement in the seizure and said it tried to make fraudulent payments.

Kyrgyzaltyn has denied wrongdoing and the Kyrgyz government accused Centerra of transgressions including environmental damage and corruption.

In June, the LBMA said it had begun a review of Kyrgyzaltyn JSC “in response to issues concerning delivery and the potential for fraud.”

The dispute over the Kumtor gold mine was settled out of court in April.

(By Peter Hobson; Editing by Mark Potter and Chris Reese)

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