Royal Canadian Mint Missing $15.3 Million In Gold

The Royal Canadian Mint is missing 17,500 troy ounces in gold, worth $15.3 million, according to an audit by Deloitte and Touche that was released on Monday. The following is from the Royal Canadian Mint’s website:

The scope of the review, conducted by Deloitte and Touche, was to specifically determine if the unreconciled difference in gold was the result of an accounting or transaction recording error. The report concluded that “the unaccounted for difference in gold does not appear to relate to an accounting error in the reconciliation process, an accounting error in the physical stock count schedules, or an accounting error in the recordkeeping of transactions during the year.”

The Deloitte and Touche report identified three other areas for consideration:

  1. A technical review of operations – As the Mint applies scientific processes and formulae to various aspects of refining, such as process losses, the Mint may wish to review and update its benchmarks and/or third party studies regarding such technical processes and formulae.
  2. An accounting review of prior periods – Precious metal reconciliations have been performed by the Mint twice annually in prior years. Although, in theory, revisiting prior period reconciliations could explain the difference, it would be difficult to complete such a review due to the passage of time, the availability of supporting documentation and the turnover of Mint staff.
  3. Security reviews – A more in-depth review of systems security and an assessment of potential inappropriate activity by both internal and/or external parties.

“As a Crown Corporation, we understand that Canadians hold us to a high standard of accountability and the Mint’s Board of Directors will continue to work closely with management in ensuring that this matter is pursued vigorously,” said James B. Love, Chairman of the Board of the Royal Canadian Mint.

“In response to the report’s recommendations, the Mint has engaged third parties to assist the Corporation in its review of specific aspects of its operations, including refinery processes and internal controls,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “We have also requested the RCMP’s assistance to investigate the matter and the Mint has committed to fully co-operate with them.”

The amount of the unreconciled precious metals at this stage is approximately $15.3 million. Mr. Bennett emphasised that “the Mint will aggressively continue its efforts both internally and with outside experts to determine the sources of the unreconciled difference.” In the interim and on the basis of the Deloitte and Touche report, the Corporation has notified its insurance carriers that it intends to file a claim under its “All Risks” insurance policy which, if successful, will largely offset the amount of any unreconciled difference.


Written by Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of Canadian Finance Blog. While you’re here, consider signing up for the RSS feed or email subscription. Both deliver the latest articles directly to you! You can also follow me on Twitter for all the latest posts or to send me any comments or questions!

3 Responses to Royal Canadian Mint Missing $15.3 Million In Gold

  1. Good points and all have to be considered but I think the error will turn out to be incorrect inventory estimates to begin with. My guess is that a carefull examination of the sampling and assaying of the remelts and waste will resolve most of the issues. Some of this may have resulted in some sellers being paid for more than they delivered. Once this material reaches the anode stage it is extremely difficult to maintain inventory control until it ends up in the form of 9999 bars.
    Its unfortunate that this thing moved into the public arena before the mint had a chance to resolve it. Likely a “cover my butt” decision.

  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back

  3. Has to be a simple technical foul up. If you have gone through the mint the security their is nothing short of incredible. Nope, its a technical thing that has crept up to them over time. obviously something to do with loss of gold in the smelting process or some kind of evaporation. but not theft, no way. security is way to tight.

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