Perth Mint Responds to ABC TV Allegations


Perth Mint logoThe Perth Mint has responded to an ABC Four Corners program on 6 March 2023 which alleged that The Perth Mint could face a potential recall of $9 billion worth of ‘doped’ one-kilogram gold bars from customers in China.

The Perth Mint emphasises that there is no question about the gold purity and value of the gold bars The Perth Mint has sold to customers in China. At all times the one-kilogram bars The Perth Mint produced and sold contained at least 99.99% gold, as per their specifications. This has never been in dispute.

The Perth Mint’s one-kilogram 99.99% gold bars contain up to 0.01% of non-gold materials, including silver and copper. These purity specifications meet industry standards and align with those set by the international market authority, the London Bullion Market Association.

In September 2021, The Perth Mint was made aware that some of its one-kilogram bars did not meet the non-gold specifications of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE). The SGE specifications demand that the non-gold component – that is, 0.01% of the bar or 100 parts per million (ppm) – contains no more than 50 ppm silver.

The Perth Mint immediately launched a review of its refining practices, including how it applied the industry-wide accepted process of ‘doping’ or ‘alloying’ its one-kilogram bars.

Due to the nature of the refining process, there are varying amounts of extra gold above 99.99% in each bar. This is known in the industry as the gold give-away because the customer does not pay for this extra gold. It is gold refining industry practice to minimise the gold give-away without affecting the purity minimum of 99.99%. Minimising is done through ‘doping’ or ‘alloying’ by ensuring sufficient volumes of non-gold elements. This practice does not impact the 99.99% purity of the gold that the customer pays for.

As part of The Perth Mint’s review of refining practices, new processes were implemented to ensure that one-kilogram bars would have on average minimum gold purity of 99.996%, compared with the industry standard of approximately 99.992%. As a result of this new practice, which came into effect in December 2021, the maximum non-gold component in a one-kilogram bar is 0.004% – which adheres to the SGE’s non-gold specification standards.

The Perth Mint is working with its customers and other stakeholders to assure them of our commitment to quality and compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

The Four Corners program also questioned the checks The Perth Mint makes in relation to retail customers and re-examined historical customer relationships and non-compliance issues.

The Perth Mint is not able to discuss existing or potential customers. Section 74 of the Gold Corporation Act 1987 precludes us from doing so.

The Perth Mint treats all compliance obligations, including in relation to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act), with utmost seriousness and is continually identifying areas for improvement.

The Perth Mint is a complex business operating under a mix of state, federal and international laws. We have acknowledged there have been shortcomings in the past that led to some non-compliance with relevant laws.

The appointment of Chief Executive Officer Jason Waters just under a year ago was the latest milestone in a significant refresh of the leadership team at The Perth Mint. This has included new heads of the Refinery, Treasury and Risk & Compliance areas.

Under Mr Waters’ leadership, The Perth Mint is prioritising activities to progress its fully funded AML/CTF remediation program through the engagement of additional staff for Know Your Customer (KYC) checks as well as historical customer data remediation, enhanced KYC processes for new clients and an improved technology solution to support customer relationship management.

The independent audit ordered by the regulator AUSTRAC is expected to be completed later this year. The Perth Mint welcomes the audit, which will support and inform its ongoing efforts to maintain strong AML/CTF measures, and continues to actively engage with the auditor.

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Kaiser Wilhelm

I find this situation to be so unbelievably ironic, most especially so considering that China is by far the world’s primary source of counterfeit precious metal coinage. The Chinese are now actually complaining about possible discrepancies within the 00.004% part of each Perth Mint one kilogram gold bar that consists of metals other than gold; their specific issue is that too much of that allowed non-gold component is in fact silver. I haven’t the foggiest notion as to why on earth that would even be considered a problem; would the Chinese prefer a base metal alloy instead? Since their complaint… Read more »

Dazed and Coinfused

Nah. They would melt them down, add other metals like zinc and lead and remold them in counterfeit or stolen molds and return to mint for refund. Confusing. They addressed the .01 part, but expanded that it met requirements and was adjusting to make it contain more gold from 99.992 to 99.996. I can’t even fathom how small a piece of gold that would be. Xi just got 5 more years as dictaster, I mean dictator. So he knows what is going to happen with Russia and Taiwan. I think Israel and Iran will be the fort Sumpter moment though,… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

The first time I heard that American schools now only teach how to print words to the exclusion of writing them in cursive I knew that as far as education and learning go the “end times” could no longer be very far around the corner. Welcome to the Idiocracy.


More Fun with Numbers! How do you like your Gold? Pure? .99999? Or “Juiced”? Straight, Neat, On the Rocks(Sydney, haha), splash of silver? Out of Western Australia. “Perth Mint, WA mines minister knew about gold doping for months before scandal became public.” By Nick Pearson “The national bullion mint sold 100 tonnes of gold to the Shanghai Gold Exchange which potentially did not comply with Chinese purity standards. The standard for gold purity is 99.999 per cent.” “Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Perth Mint CEO Jason Waters said the amount of silver added to the gold sold to… Read more »

Seth Riesling

“Please buy our pure gold coins & ingots…give us a call…operators are standing by to take your money.”…Scams everywhere & greed rules it seems. Remember, the U.S. Mint’s silver coins & medals are only 99.93% fine silver! They don’t even have the numerical fineness on them, just a generic “fine silver” inscription on the ASE $1 coins. I want my extra .07% silver price refund U.S. Mint! – I smell a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Mint. – But you can trust Uncle Sam! Lol.


Kaiser Wilhelm

For decades no one cared that U.S. coinage was but 90% silver. What happened?

Kaiser Wilhelm

Operators are standing. Bye.

Kaiser Wilhelm

This has just gotten doubly bizarre. Everything written in’s column today is contradicted by the news in the above comment. I don’t know what to think!

Kaiser Wilhelm

Is the purity of gold somehow limited or does the concept of endless Pi apply here also?


just to put this in perspective, the 0.01% ‘impure’ part of a kilogram bar is 1/10th of a gram.

but golly yes they are now going for the 99.996 standard, so we are talking about 1/25th of a gram of non-gold now. that’s such a tiny amount to be fussing over. your average ETF has management fees way higher than 0.01% (yeah, i know a couple have ‘zero’ but lets ignore those for now)

Last edited 23 days ago by c_q
Kaiser Wilhelm

This resembles the debate about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Dazed and Coinfused

Seems miniscule, but when you are talking tons, that is a lot. Don’t have time to do the math, but figure how many ounces in a pound, then multiply by 2000 for ton weight. Then multiply by at least 100. And see what 1/25 comes out to be. Also. Who validated the older mint coins? Could be like a Reese’s cup silver outside with a lead filling. I wonder what the US standard is. Is it 99.99999999999 or 99.9 like some coins. And I think 1 was even 90.0 silver. So how did mint do that if they’ve been doing… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

Occasionally, Dazed and Coinfused, perhaps even as such is the case in point here, it might almost begin to appear as if all gold is “fool’s gold”.

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Kaiser Wilhelm

By the way, Dazed and Coinfused and c_q, I decided to take a closer look at the question of precisely how much of a one hundred ton gold shipment would, by weight and by value, consist of something other than gold, but at some point in the midst of my ruminations and calculations I realized I was getting nowhere fast, which then helped me recall how seriously math challenged I’ve been known to be, so I decided to give up and opt for a nap instead. I will leave it to any Gunga Din here who will hopefully be a… Read more »

Seth Riesling

This is all very ironic, since the Perth Mint Australia (founded in 1899) was supposedly the first world Mint to strike a 99.999% pure gold “five nines” legal tender coin back in the day. They even bragged about it in the press.


Kaiser Wilhelm

I think, Seth, that it is sometimes the case that the worst bragger is the biggest liar.

Dazed and Coinfused

That was over 120 years ago. Finding gold and getting it out the ground is easier now. So with the magic mike (gold deficit) it makes sense to remove the 5th 9 and alter the 4th. They press many coins and medals. All that adds up. Also, population back then was way lower. I think it doubled since then. But how are they testing the purity? Are they melting and centrifuge? Doubt it. Melt and separate like a pharmacist does pills? Or do they pull out impurities with a magnet? Which according to the pros on forged in fire, when… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

Where do we see progress in all of this, Dazed and Coinfused? Several hundred years ago if you wanted some gold you just dropped in on your trusty local alchemist.