We are one of a very small number of World Gold Council Chain of Supply Standard compliant exporters in Kenya able to export to countries with stringent compliance standards, such as Switzerland, Italy and Germany.
With the African raw gold industry having obtained a dubious reputation for reliability generally, and reports of low-integrity product having often made its way to jurisdictions with relatively low compliance standards such as the UAE, we are seeing a growing trend towards refineries preferring to import raw gold into Switzerland, where the trade is registered with, and guaranteed by, the authorities.
Lewin Africa Limited is almost unique amongst Kenyan gold exporters in that we are able to satisfy the regulatory and documentary demands of PolyReg, the Swiss Federal Customs Administration, and the financial institutions that typically support such transactions.
Below we detail our 10-steps that we believe represent the most secure, swift and simple raw gold purchasing process available.
We enjoy excellent cooperation with relevant government departments; we work with the best and most reputable miners in the industry; and we insist on meeting in person with every buyer. Under these conditions Systech enjoys an unprecedented level of trust and offers the most secure purchasing methods currently available to high-volume buyers.
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is based on the principle that individual atoms, when excited by an external energy source, emit X-ray photons of a characteristic energy or wavelength. These characteristic scatter patterns are detected by the device and are shown on a readout which we record and archive for each tested sample.
While the Systech team is responsible for testing the 20% of product removed into secure storage with an agreed banking institution for the duration of the deal, we work with the cooperation of a government-sanctioned laboratory that signs-off the testing process so as to ensure that all supporting documentation is compliant for the purposes of export, in the extremely unlikely event that the main deal fails and the buyer is required to import the 20% physical deposit to cover their initial 20% deposit.
The specific gravity of gold is the same as the ratio of its wet to dry mass – since water’s specific gravity is 1g/cm3. Pure gold’s specific gravity, or density, is 19.32 grammes per cubic centimetre. The gold we supply is of a minimum purity of 92%.
Once we’ve XRF-analysed the surface composition of a doré bar and therefore know what the gold is alloyed to, we know what specific gravity measurement should result from testing, if the bar is likely bona fide. For instance, at 92% purity, if the bar is primarily alloyed to silver, we expect a specific gravity of around 18.1. With a copper / silver alloy mix, we expect around 17.8.
In the diagram sequence below, we determine that the specific gravity of the bar is 18.12 by dividing the dry mass (1.000kg) by the wet mass (0.0552kg). With our XRF reading indicating a silver alloy, we conclude that the bar is likely consistent throughout with the composition measured on the bar’s surface – provided a very clever con has not been pulled off! (which we safeguard against in our 3rd test).
While we have an excellent relationship and high trust with our mine owner suppliers, on occasion, bars are traded between sellers in-country to accommodate temporary supply chain amendments.
A very sophisticated con from a trader would involve a high purity surface composition and a tungsten core or insert, as tungsten’s specific gravity is very close to that of pure gold. We use ultrasound imaging to identify any aberrations in the bar’s structure. Such imaging will easily bring to light the presence of cavities or inserts.
Confirmation – In the example provided above, we have already determined the specific gravity of a doré bar that is apparently consistently composed of 92% pure gold and silver. A further corroboration of the reliability of the three testing methods we use is to confirm that the volume of the tested bar is consistent with its calculated density.
A bar weighing 1.000kg and with standard upper surface dimensions of 80 x 40mm would be expected to have a thickness of 17.25mm. This can be determined very quickly with vernier callipers.