Single Mine Origin Gold

Single. Mine. Origin

Single Mine Origin Gold (SMO) is a new standard of traceable and responsibly sourced gold.

The standard was developed by the Betts Group in England.

C&J Fine Jewelry Makers is the exclusive distributor of SMO Gold in the United States market.

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Extraction

SMO mines adhere to the exacting standards of the World Gold Council Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs), Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) or International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) principles.

The World Gold Council RGMPs were established in September 2019, an overarching framework that represents international best practices in exploration, operation and closure of gold mines. Current SMO mines have signed up to adhere to the RGMPs alongside other leading ESG international standards. An independent auditing procedure is expected to certify our full compliance to the RGMPs by the end of 2022. From 2023, all SMO mines will submit an annual implementation report and also obtain an annual independent assurance report.

Other mines will join the SMO community in the future and we will guarantee they are certified by an independent body such as the World Gold Council (RGMPs), IRMA or ICMM.

Segregation

SMO gold remains segregated from any other material throughout the supply chain. Mining partners use independent auditors to monitor mine output; world-class logistics partners ensure gold remains segregated whilst being transported; LBMA refiners maintain segregation throughout the refining process; and any manufacturing prior to materials being delivered to jewellers is completed under segregated conditions. The journey is fully documented: a paper trail is maintained on a mass-balance basis for SMO gold from each mine.

Producing SMO gold does involve some necessary additional costs in the chain of custody from mine to market, especially paying for independent audit of segregation through the refinery. Wherever possible, we absorb these costs and provide products to jewellery and investment markets with no additional premium. However, this is not always possible with very high volume, low margin products (eg large investment bars and casting grain), for which there may be a very modest premium.

Refinement

SMO gold is refined by LBMA refiners in total segregation from any other material. This process is overseen every time by an independent auditor. Most of the world's gold becomes untraceable the moment it hits the refinery when gold from many sources enters one big melting pot. SMO therefore considers our refinery the most critical part of our chain of custody.

The segregation of SMO gold at our refinery is audited by Bureau Veritas. We’ve had process assurance for this chain of custody from MHA McIntyre Hudson, which is a division of Baker Tilly International.

SMO is also involved in the World Gold Council's trial with aXedras to assess the benefits of implementing blockchain across the whole chain of custody.

Manufacturing

SMO gold can be supplied to jewellery partners as fine gold grain directly from the LBMA refinery, or it can be alloyed and turned into alloyed grain, wrought product, rings, chain or castings for delivery to jewellers.

All manufacturing prior to delivery to SMO’s jewellery partners happens in total segregation from any other metal. Finished items of jewellery manufactured with SMO gold can be hallmarked with the SMO mark, subject to mass balance checks.

Tracing

Each batch of SMO gold is fully traced through the chain of custody from mine to jeweller, with a complete documentary paper-trail maintained. SMO gold is supplied with a QR code, allowing end consumers to see exactly where their metal was mined, and learn more about the social and environmental impacts associated with their purchase.


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