10/09/2020 - 15:28

The quiet achiever. True competition emerges in the Australian precious metals market

10/09/2020 - 15:28


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Amid the global investment push towards precious metals, ABC Refinery has emerged as a global innovator in the otherwise staid world of precious metal refining and bullion trading.

Single handedly toppling a government monopoly, ABC Refinery has grown to become one of the world’s largest primary precious metal refiners currently refining over 25% of gold volume and 70% of the silver in the region – and growing.  This market disrupter’s enviable rate of growth is driven by an emphasis on partnering with mining clients who share ABC Refinery’s vision of efficiency, sustainability and supply chain integrity.

Mining partner.  Market innovator.  Market disrupter.  Monopoly buster.

These are all labels that ABC Refinery, the refinery arm of Australasia’s largest independent precious metal services group Pallion welcomes. 


Gold processed at ABC Refinery currently accounts for 25% of the Australasian market, while the silver component equates to 70% of the market in the region.  And in FY 2021, ABC Refinery is expected to process about 100 metric tonnes of gold and roughly 500 metric tonnes of silver. 

These are significant numbers – especially in the context of a market that was dominated by one monopoly player for over 20 years. 

Pallion Chief Commercial Officer David Woodford explains, “We pride ourselves on having brought true competition to the Australasian market.  We like to say that we have brought ‘optionality’ to the Australian precious metal mining sector”.

And while it is trite to say that when firms compete with each other, consumers get the best possible prices, quantity, and quality service, ABC Refinery stresses another very tangible outcome.  Partnership.

ABC Refinery is not just a service provider” says Mr Woodford.  “Our enviable rate of growth is driven by the fact that we partner with our clients for long term mutual benefit.  Indeed, our strategy is to carefully select partners who share our vision of efficiency, sustainability and supply chain integrity”.

“Not being constrained by legacy systems, we champion the Australian gold sector globally by investing in the best people and utilising the latest environmentally sustainable technologies.  And, our strategic location in Australia’s largest trading hub provides significant logistical advantages to our partners in both domestic and international markets” says Mr Woodford.

It’s these factors that enable ABC Refinery to bring real competition to the market and significant bottom line refining and transport savings to its partners.

ABC Refinery and its parent company Pallion operate across the entire value chain of precious metals from refining mined dorè to bullion trading to producing jewellery for global jewellery houses.  That position is a unique one – not just locally, but globally.


Indeed, the strong demand for ABC Bullion branded precious metal supports all of Pallion’s subsidiaries.  As Mr Woodford explains, “Demand starts with ABC Refinery’s rapidly increasing share of the Australasian market in unprocessed precious metals from mining companies.  In turn, this is supported by strong demand throughout the region for ABC Bullion bars that are produced by ABC Refinery.” 

Accreditation by the likes of LBMA, SGE, COMEX, RJC, NATA, ISO, ILAC, IEC and Standards Australia are seen by ABC Refinery as merely a base line in the broader commitment of ABC Refinery and Pallion to responsible sourcing – an increasingly necessary requirement not just at the consumer level but at the broader wholesale and investment level as well.

“Our various accreditations demonstrate a threshold and expectation of ABC Refinery to perform ESG at an extremely high level.  But, responsible sourcing is about more than just accreditation.  The commitment to responsible supply chains has to come from within,” Woodford says, in light of Pallion publishing its first ever sustainability report in respect of the 2020 financial year as part of its Considerate™ Precious Metals commitment.

ABC Refinery and the broader Pallion group have a real commitment to responsible and sustainable sourcing and production.  So, if you are an end user of Pallion products you can buy knowing that we strive to adhere to best practice along the entire value chain”.

“The Considerate™ Precious Metals Report considers the whole spectrum of the Pallion enterprise annually and reports on our corporate responsibility initiatives and their impact on our own people, society, charities, the environment as well as local and the global economies.  The Report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) to ensure our products are benchmarked at an international level,” he says.

Technology and innovation are becoming increasingly important in assisting organisations with their ESG agendas and ABC Refinery is recognised as a global leader in that regard.  In addition to its proprietary electrolytic gold refining (EGR) technology that has improved speed of output as compared to traditional EGR methods by approximately 30%, ABC Refinery boasts the world’s largest environmentally friendly ALS™ refining capacity.

The only refiner in the southern hemisphere to offer ALS™ refining to the industry, ABC Refinery utilises this ground breaking technology in its pre-refining process in order to remove silver and light elements from Au/Ag/Cu alloys using vacuum distillation technology.  Unlike traditional refining technologies, the process does not use chemicals and produces no exhaust fumes.  It also further improves the efficiency of ABC Refinery’s refining process as compared to traditional competitor methods.  Further to its environmental benefits, ALS™ refining technology results in no precious metal loss, significantly improved speed of output and approximately 40% reduced operative costs compared to traditional refining technologies.  “Of course, these benefits are passed on to our mining clients as part of our corporate ethos of partnership,” notes Mr Woodford.

Complementing that responsible sourcing environmental commitment are ABC Refinery’s developments in the electronic tracing of metal inputs in-line with an emphasis from consumers on responsible sourcing and supply chain integrity.  “ABC Refinery has partnered with software company Blockhead Technologies to create a technology platform that enables precious metal traceability and tampering detection called STAMP Vision™.  STAMP Vision uses blockchain technology to store bullion fingerprints in a way that ensures data integrity and that the fingerprints have not been tampered with” says Mr Woodford.

ABC Refinery Fact File

  • The refining division of Pallion, Australasia’s largest independent precious metal services group of companies that has been involved in the industry since 1951.
  • Rapidly growing market share.  Currently refines approximately 25% of Australian gold mine production and 70% of silver production.
  • Employs the world’s largest environmentally friendly ALS™ refining capacity.
  • Strategically located in Sydney, Australia’s largest trading hub.
  • Accredited by all major world associations and exchanges including LBMA, SGE, COMEX, RJC, NATA, ISO, ILAC, IEC and Standards Australia.


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