Less than a month after China’s fake gold scandal, Security Matters (ASX: SMX) has joined forces with Perth Mint subsidiary to establish the “world’s first” completely transparent mine to market solution for gold.
Under the deal, Security Matters and Perth Mint will establish the trueGold Consortium, which will be equally owned by both parties.
The entity will be headed up by renowned Australian mining businessman Hugh Morgan who will step into the role of chairman.
Mr Morgan was previously chief executive officer of Western Mining Corp before mining giant BHP (ASX: BHP) acquired it. He is also a former board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and current Perth Mint director.
“I am very pleased to be chairman of trueGold,” Mr Morgan said.
“The company’s technology through its association with Security Matters of providing an authentication mark of the pathway gold take from mine to consumer or investor is without peer.”
“The technology is a disruptive and novel process to enable tracing of gold production thereby enabling consumer and investor to have confidence in any representation the gold is derived from sources applying the environmental and operational standards consistent with those set by the World Gold Council and the London Bullion Market Association,” he added.
Joining Mr Morgan is Zeren Browne who will assume the role of managing director.
Security Matters and Perth Mint will provide and initial $1 million in funding with both companies contributing equally.
trueGold will be given a licence to use Security Matters’ unique molecular marking technology and blockchain platform.
This will enable it to launch what is believed the “world’s first fully transparent mine-to-marketplace ESG focused gold supply chain assurance solution”.
As part of the agreement, trueGold will pay a non-material royalty and Perth Mint has agreed not to use a competing gold marking technology.
To finalise development of the gold supply chain assurance solution, trueGold will undertake a capital raising via its global network of strategic and investment partners.
Full commercial roll-out is planned for the first quarter of next year.
China fake gold bar scandal
Today’s news regarding trueGold follows a scandal at the end of last month where one of China’s largest gold jewellery manufacturers Wuhan-based and NASDAQ-listed Kingold Jewelry was accused of using fake gold bars to obtain loans from 14 Chinese lenders.
Reports from Beijing noted that the 83t of “gold” bars were valued at 20.6 billion yuan (A$4.2 billion) but many of them have turned out to be gilded copper.