New Era, New OpportunitiesBy Praveen Baijnath, CEO, Rand Refinery
Published on September 10, 2021
If Charles Darwin were alive today and studied the second industrial revolution, he would certainly have advanced Rand Refinery as evidence to his theory that it is not necessarily the fittest or the first that survives, but the most adaptable.
As Rand’s centenary year gets underway and we look back at the refinery’s rich history, it becomes clear that our legacy is Darwin’s theory at work.
The year 2021 marks 100 years since refining operations commenced at Rand Refinery. It was officially registered in 1920 with a start-up capital of £50,000 and shares were split between the gold mining companies who were members of the Chamber of Mines (now the Minerals Council of South Africa). Today, the refinery is headquartered at the same address in Germiston, though the premises have now expanded to keep pace with the demand for our services and products.
A global player and active in every international bullion market, Rand Refinery’s products are sought out as much for their reputational value as the metal content they carry. The refinery, a single site refining and smelting complex, is a valued and established provider of products and solutions that meet the needs of sovereign governments, central banks, trade and industry as well as corporates and individuals.
The refinery’s products include Good Delivery bars, kilobars, minted bars, coin blanks and value-added products which are part of its signature offerings as well as one of the world’s most widely held and actively traded gold bullion coin, the Krugerrand – a the 22-carat gold bullion coin, produced with the South African Mint. In excess of 60 million ounces of South African gold has been sold as Krugerrands since it was first stuck in 1968. At recent peaks, over 2.5 million Krugerrand coins are minted per annum.
We also produce our own range of minted bars that is sold globally. Delivering these minted bars into the market involves the full value chain from design through manufacturing to marketing and sales into North American, European and Asian markets. While Rand Refinery prefers to design, develop and market our own product range, we have on occasion worked with select partners on specific campaigns.
Our capabilities in sampling, assaying, smelting and refining are among the best in the world. Our century-long history and experience in dealing with complex and geographically diverse mine dore deposits has built industry trust and dependability in the sampling and assaying processes, as precise content reflection for the depositing customer is paramount. In terms of our refining services, we serve some of the largest mining groups and can boast of best-in-class out turn (from dore received to settled payments).
Rand Refinery remains as innovative today as it was at inception with much of its success attributed to its understanding of the market and its partner’s mindset. As one of the handful of London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Good Delivery Referees and the only one in the southern hemisphere, we are the go-to-market specialists, combining knowledge, deep understanding of our partner’s value systems and industry leading technological capabilities.
Responsible sourcing is becoming increasingly scrutinised and progressively consumers are asking the questions about origin and impact. Our sourcing processes are a key strategic differentiator as we have robust systems and processes and only deal with credible mines. All the gold received at Rand Refinery can be classified as certified gold or responsible gold, meaning it comes from sources that can be verified through tracking, traceability including geological fingerprinting.
Rand Refinery’s adherence to the LBMA standard follows a framework that was established by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Mineral from Conflict-Affected Areas. The LBMA guidelines, which we implement through our policies and processes, ensures that all gold sourced and refined at Rand Refinery comes from responsible parties.
In terms of further commitment to responsible sourcing, we introduced the RandPure mark which has become a symbol of our ability to certify that the gold produced is responsible, conflict-free and traceable, from specific mines to the consumer.
Our adaptability over time has been the key to our survival. Not many companies can claim to create and maintain a hundred-year legacy with people, partners and the planet at the centre of it. As we enter a new era, no doubt our journey will be equally evolutionary. The current crisis has shown that even with our size, we can pivot at will.
We pride ourselves on the quality of partnership we bring to our relationships in the industry. Even during the tumultuous period of rolling Covid lockdowns across the continent, we worked with stakeholders and depositing mines by redoubling our efforts to ensure the value chain from extraction to distribution was not disrupted. Even fewer companies can say that their work during this time put valuable foreign exchange in the hands of governments to lead their own fight against the pandemic.
Refining is a highly competitive business, but we firmly believe that our values that have kept us in good stead for the past 100 years, will continue to empower us to reshape future value. At the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, we are bigger than we ever were, with more employees, more partners, more products and a bigger footprint of the planet from where we source.
At 100 years old, our journey looks as exciting as it was in the roaring ‘20s.
* This article was published in partnership with Rand Refinery
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