India Needs More World-Class Gold Refineries

Gold RefineryMumbai: At the two-day seminar organized by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA), experts were of the opinion that Indian household, which has total holding of around 25,000 tonnes of gold, needs more gold refineries for monetizing and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector.

India continues to be a major consumer of gold, importing on average 600 to 900 tonnes per annum, which is roughly 25 per cent of the global annual production of bullion.

The raw materials for the industry are obtained from the recycling of old jewellery supplied by the jewellery shops as well as the gold loan agencies disposing of their defaulters accounts.

This refining of domestic scrap is undertaken by the medium and large scale gold refineries operating in the organized sector, as well as the hundreds of smaller refineries operating in the unorganized sector.

The first and the only London Bullion Markets Association accredited gold and silver refinery in the country is MMTC-PAMP, a joint venture between state-owned MMTC and Switzerland-based PAMP SA.

“India’s households have a total holding of around 25,000 tonnes of gold which needs to be monetized. Even if we target one per cent of gold for monetizing, the quantity will come to around 250 tonnes which MMTC-PAMP cannot handle alone. Therefore, we need to have more world-class refineries through FDI investment in India,” MMTC-PAMP managing director Rajesh Khosla said.

Khosla also stressed on the need to allow FDI in the jewellery sector in all value chains, including jewellery retailing.