Russian gold hit with de facto ban from key London market

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The decision amounts to a de facto ban on new Russian gold bars entering London’s market, where trillions of dollars of precious metals trade each year. The LBMA’s Good Delivery list is widely seen as the international standard for financial gold trading, as most bullion banks will only handle metal produced by accredited refineries.

The association joins a growing list of businesses and institutions around the world that are pulling back from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Russia is one of the world’s biggest gold producers, home to major miners including Polymetal International Plc and Polyus PJSC. Its exports have typically been handled by the country’s commercial banks, many of whom are now facing sanctions.

CME Group has also suspended the approved status for warranting and delivery of gold and silver brands of the same six Russian gold refineries until further notice, according to a statement.

Russia’s central bank last month said it would begin purchasing domestically produced bullion again, resuming a long-running buying spree after a two-year pause. The move may prove a lifeline for the countries miners, who will now struggle to find other ways to sell their gold.

The status of palladium and platinum refineries remains unchanged, as they are managed by the London Platinum and Palladium Market. Russia is the top producer of palladium, accounting for about 40% freshly mined supply.

The refineries suspended by the LBMA and CME are:

  • JSC Krastsvetmet
  • JSC Novosibirsk Refinery
  • JSC Uralelectromed
  • Moscow Special Alloys Processing Plant
  • Prioksky Plant of Non-Ferrous Metals
  • Shyolkovsky Factory of Secondary Precious Metals, SOE

(By Eddie Spence, with assistance from Yvonne Yue Li)

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