Shanghai Gold Exchange denies report on 'doped' gold bars from Australia

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) on Wednesday backed Perth Mint in denying that the Australian processor had sold it “doped” gold bars and said it could take action to protect its reputation.

“The relevant media failed to fulfill their responsibility to review the content, resulting in dissemination of inaccurate content on the Internet, causing serious damage to the reputation of the Shanghai Gold Exchange,” the exchange said in a statement on its website.

SGE added that it reserved the right to take further measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.

The Australian media report said Perth Mint, the world’s largest processor of newly mined gold, may have to recall a potential $9 billion worth of 1-kg diluted gold bars sold to China.

Perth Mint said on Tuesday that there was no question about the value and purity of gold bars it has sold to customers in China, after it implemented new procedures following a review of its refining practices 2021.

“Doping”, or “alloying” is an industry wide accepted practice to minimise the amount of pure gold above the 99.99% purity level in each bar.

China, the world’s largest gold consumer, consumed approximately 1,002 tonnes of gold in 2022, a fall of 10.63% over the same period over 2021, according to China Gold Association.

Meanwhile, China produced a total of about 498 tonnes of gold in the past year, posting a year-on-year rise of 12.24%, China Gold Association said.

Reporting by Amy Lv and Dominique Patton in Beijing; Editing by Sharon Singleton