North Korean Gold Turning Up Illegally In American Products

  • Posted Thursday, June 05, 2014 at 01:39 PM

Los Angeles CA, June 5 (Tangible Investments) - by James O’Dell - Gold and silver turned modestly lower on Wednesday, with gold easing $1.20 or 0.10 percent to close at $1,243.70 an ounce ahead of the two events most likely to effect the direction of gold this week, Thursday's European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting and Friday's non-farm payrolls report. The price of Silver lost $0.01 or 0.01 percent to close at $18.81 an ounce, while the gold/silver ratio inched lower to 66.12.

The ultra-low interest rate environment that the ECB is expected to usher in this week should encourage investors to invest in assets like gold, say analysts. "The expectation is that there will be some sort of monetary stimulus measures, possibly accompanied by a rate cut," said Mitsubishi Corp's Jonathan Butler.

Meanwhile, a troubling discovery was made recently as companies hurried to comply, by a Monday deadline, with a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that compels companies to reveal any “conflict minerals,” being used in their product lines. The provision requires firms to question their suppliers and disclose whether any gold, tungsten, tantalum or tin coming from mines in the war ravaged Congo region, was used in the manufacture of their products.

While the search failed in many instances to turn up conflict minerals from the Congo it did, however, uncover North Korean refined gold being used in many name brand products. U.S. sanctions law, which was used recently to punish Russia for its incursion into Ukraine, strictly forbids the importation of materials from North Korea.

IBM, for example, found that one of its suppliers was using North Korean gold in the fabrication of its memory storage systems. A spokeswoman for H-P said that when it investigated its supply chain in January it uncovered “a small number” of its suppliers that may have also used a North Korean refiner. An error in a software template used by companies to query their suppliers is being blamed for allowing the North Korean gold to slip through.

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