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Asahi Refining

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Asahi Refining Inc.

It is a rare event that one of the major precious metals refiners in the world would decide to exit the industry and shutter its facilities, but just such a thing occurred in 2014 when Johnson Matthey made the decision to divest from its gold and silver refining operations. Fortunately for fans of the refiner’s products and investors everywhere, Japan’s Asahi Holdings stepped in to pick up the slack and form a new mint under the name Asahi Refining. Taking over Johnson Matthey facilities and not missing a beat, Asahi Refining is the newest name in the precious metals industry, and is already delivering silver products for shoppers on Silver.com.

Background on the Change from J&M to Asahi Refining

Johnson Matthey was originally formed in 1802 by a single man, Percival Norton Johnson. He established himself as a single entity performing gold assaying in London. By 1851, he had teamed up with George Matthey to form the Johnson Matthey brand in London, and the business was appointed as the Official Assayer & Refiner to the Bank of England in 1852.

Over the course of 160 years, the company expanded its operations and diversified, eventually growing to become a British multinational corporation with specialty chemicals and sustainable technologies at the core of its business operations today. Still headquartered in the United Kingdom, and listed on the London Stock Exchange, the company made the shocking decision in 2014 to divest from the gold and silver refining industry.

Johnson Matthey’s precious metals refining operations consisted of three facilities in North America. Two operational refineries exist in Salt Lake City, Utah and Brampton, Ontario. An additional investment casting services facility exists in St. Catharines in Canada. In December 2014, Johnson Matthey announced its intentions to divest from gold and silver refining in the interest of focusing on its long-term, strategic goals to take greater advantage of its expertise in chemistry and its high-tech solutions in various other industries.

Role of Asahi Holdings

Asahi Holdings is a Japan-based company with a rich history of operation across various business lines. Its primary operations consist of collection, recovery, and refinements of precious and rare metals, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. It also manufactures and sells precious metal alloys, chemicals for plating, and electrolytic recovery equipment used in gold and silver refining.

Originally formed in July 1952, the company is headquartered in Tokyo, with much of its current precious metal refining operations taking place at its Kobe, Japan facility. When Johnson Matthey opted to divest from gold and silver refining, Asahi Holdings came to the table with an offer to purchase its refining operations.

The plan announced in December 2014 by Johnson Matthey was formalized in July 2015, but Asahi Holdings took physical control of Johnson Matthey’s North American units in March 2015 and got busy minting its own bars. With the successful acquisition of Johnson Matthey’s operations for $186 million (USD, cash), Asahi Holdings formed a subsidiary known as Asahi Refining.

Asahi Refining

The newly-formed Asahi Refining acquired both the minting facilities in Salt Lake City and Brampton, as well as the investment casting services in St. Chatarines. The 340 people employed at the three locations were kept on as members of Asahi Refining. The two minting facilities now operate collectively as Asahi Refining, branding all products with the company’s name and logo. The facility in St. Catharines is now referred to as Niagara Investment Castings, and operates as a division of Asahi Refining Canada Limited.

Upon the purchase of Johnson Matthey’s facilities, the company’s standing as a London Bullion Market Association Gold Delivery member was transferred to each of the gold and silver refining operations in the new Asahi Refining corporate structure. Asahi Refining is, as a result, certified as LBMA responsible gold compliant as well as London Good Delivery refiners.

Importance of Status with LBMA

Johnson Matthey had made a name for itself producing high-value gold and silver bars that lived up to LBMA standards, a benchmark coveted by precious metals investors. The LBMA is an international trade association with a global client base that is represented by the London market for gold and silver bullion. Many gold-holding central banks, private sector investors, mining companies, and refiners are represented in the London market.

The maintenance of Good Deliver List standards is critical to the future success of Asahi Refining, and includes the accreditation of its new refinery operations and retesting of current facilities.

Asahi Refining Silver Bars

The most readily available bar from Asahi Refining at the moment is the Asahi 100 oz Silver Bar. Extremely similar in appearance to the old Johnson Matthey bars of the same weight, these bars feature 100 troy ounces of .999 fine silver. Each bar has simplistic design features and engravings, in compliance with LBMA standards.

On the obverse face of the Asahi 100 oz Silver Bar are the only engravings you’ll find on the product. At the top of the bar is the new Asahi Refining logo, which consists of a simple oval with “Asahi SLC” engraved in the outer rim and the words “Assayers, Refiners” in the middle of the oval.

Near the bottom of the bar you’ll find the engravings of the bar’s weight, its purity, and the assayer’s mark from the individual responsible for assaying products at Asahi Refining facilities. The bars have a matte finish, with rounded edges and a rectangular design. These particular bars are not Good Deliver products, but are certified by the LBMA as investment-grade bullion.

Purchasing Asahi Refining Products on Silver.com

Silver.com makes it easy for you to complete the purchase of your Asahi Refining products. We accept a variety of payment methods for your gold and silver products, including credit/debit cards, bank wire and PayPal transfers, and paper checks.

We accept Visa and MasterCard credit/debit cards, with a one business day processing time. Paper checks are eligible for a 4% discount and take up to six business days to process. Bank wire and PayPal transfers process immediately, releasing your products to our shipping queue for faster fulfillment.

Silver.com offers a sliding scale for shipping fees. Depending upon the total purchase price of your Asahi Refining products, you’ll find an affordable shipping fee available courtesy of the United States Postal Service or UPS. These fees are for standard shipping schedules, and extra fees would apply for expedited shipping. All purchases in excess of $3,000 qualify for free shipping and insurance.

If your products are damaged, lost, or stolen during shipping, Silver.com will work with the carriers to locate your packages. In the even this is not possible, we’ll file an insurance claim on your behalf to assist you in securing a refund of your purchase price.

Silver.com wants you to be confident in your investment in precious metal products available from our company. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to