Kaloti opens gold refinery in Suriname
The Dubai-based Kaloti Precious Metals has opened its first gold refinery outside the UAE in Suriname, the smallest sovereign state in South America, with an annual capacity of 60 tonnes expected.
The Kaloti Suriname Mint House, launched last month, is a joint venture that includes the Suriname government and local gold traders.
Kaloti, which has been importing gold from Suriname since 1996, expects the new facility to increase supplies to its Dubai operations.
Kaloti will also carry out melting, assaying, vaulting, bullion trading, distribution of coins, medallions and investment bars, besides undertaking global logistics for the international transportation of the precious metal from its Suriname factory.
“The government wanted to have a better control over the precious metals exported where they can collect taxes and fees in a more efficient way, and for us it is about potential growth in Suriname and the region,” said Tarek El Mdaka, the co-chief executive of Kaloti Precious Metals.
“The facility will also provide more transparency to the sector.”
Mr El Mdaka would not disclose the cost of the project, but said it could reach US$20 million depending on the machinery required and unforeseen costs. Currently, the facility employs 20 people but can accommodate up to 50 people once it reaches full capacity in two years’ time.
The facility would source gold from Suriname, neighbouring Guyana and French Guiana besides other countries on the continent.
Kaloti said that it has “zero tolerance” to precious metal mined from conflict zones and it follows guidelines laid down by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre in this regard.
South America is one of the company’s main sources of gold and it plans to to open offices in Chile and Ecuador. It already has offices in Peru, the continent’s largest gold producer, and Bolivia.
Global gold production has increased after the financial crisis because of uncertainty in the financial market and personal consumption. In 2013, 2,770 tonnes of gold was produced worldwide, up from around 2,445 tonnes in 2000, according to the UK-based Institute of Physics Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters in January. Prices have also increased to $1,208.18 an ounce yesterday from $250 an ounce in 2000.
The gold industry in Dubai is estimated to be worth US$75 billion, according to the DMCC.
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Updated: March 3, 2015 04:00 AM