Johnson Matthey Refinery / Asahi Refinery

johnson matthey refinery

Johnson Matthey Refinery is a multinational company that specializes in sustainable technology and chemicals. The company’s headquarters is located in London, England, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Additionally, the company’s shares are included on the FTSE 100 Index.


The company was founded around 1817 by Percival Norton Johnson. He established an assayer firm for gold in London. George Matthey joined Norton in his company in 1851. In the following year, the company was renamed, Johnson & Matthey. In 1852, the business was appointed as an official refiner and assayer of the Bank of England.


Johnson & Matthey soon opened branch offices within Birmingham and Sheffield to allow the business to make and distribute silverware, jewelry, and cutlery. Additionally, the company deals in raw materials and additional supplies, such as silver solder and flux. In 1874, Johnson and Matthey mint was contracted to create the kilogram reference standard, which was composed of 90 percent platinum and 10 percent Iridium.


From 1957 onwards, the Johnson & Matthey mint published a journal titled Platinum Metals Review. The company established a subsidiary called Johnson Matthey Bankers in the 1960s before becoming part of the London Gold Fixing. Then, at the beginning of the 80s, it expanded its business beyond its bullion business. The bank began offering high-risk loans.


The assets of the bank nearly tripled between 1980 and 1984. The majority of the borrowers were loyal clients who comprised Mahmoud Sipra and his firm El Saeed group. Other clients with a prominent relationship with Johnson and Matthey include Rajendra Sethia, Abdul Shamji, and ESAL commodities.


However, the quality of loans that the company made proved to be less than what was expected. For instance, £21 million was loaned by the company to Abdul Shamji, the owner of Gomba Holdings. As a result, the number of loans the company first made was more significant than the amount of capital that the bank had. This resulted in the imprisonment of Shamji over 15 months after not disclosing his assets.


Johnson & Matthey, alongside JMB, were members of the London Gold Fixing. The fixing caused the Bank of England officials to worry about the bank becoming insolvent. This could undermine the confidence of investors in the other bullion markets and the British banks. To prevent crises in the banking sector, officials from the Bank of England created an idea to save the mint on September 30, 1984.


Johnson & Matthey acquired Argillon, the business that specialized in manufacturing catalysts, in 2008, for EUR214 million. In October 2010, the company bought InterCAT company, which specializes in supplying catalytic cracking additives for the refinery sector in exchange for $56.2 million.


Additionally, in 2010 Johnson & Matthey opened a new £34 million emission control catalyst manufacturing plant in Skopje situated inside North Macedonia. The plant manufactured catalysts for light and heavy-duty vehicles. The mint was one of the initial FTSE 100 listed companies to create an integrated report for their business. It was also awarded the Best Annual Report in FTSE 100 listed businesses.


In 2012, the business was awarded the Transparency of Governance Award. This was presented to honor the ability of the company to bridge sustainable business and environmental conservation. The company was also nominated for The Business and Community Responsibility award for sustainability in the 2017 program.


Johnson Matthey Refinery Products

The Acquisition of Johnson Matthey Refinery by Asahi Mint


On March 5, 2015, Asahi Holdings in Tokyo, Japan, announced that it had finalized the acquisition process for its Johnson & Matthey silver refining business. The deal includes complete control of the Johnson Matthey refinery Utah. In addition, Asahi also re-established ownership of the mint located in Ontario and the investment services provided via its St. Catherines affiliate in Canada.


Around 340 employees are currently employed in the mint. The refineries within Salt Lake City, USA, and Brampton, Canada, will now operate together under the name of Asahi Refining. In addition, Johnson Matthey’s Precision Casting facility is now Niagara Investment Casting. Niagara Investment Casting division of the Asahi Refining Canada Limited.


At the time of acquisition, Johnson & Matthey LBMA London Delivery status had been transferred to gold and silver refinery. Asahi refinery is certified by LBMA, which is accountable for handling gold complaints and London Good Delivery refiners.


Mitsuharu Terayama, the chairman and CEO of Asahi Holdings, stated that the company was humbled to have acquired an institution with an extensive history and rich tradition. The Johnson & Matthey mint is recognized for its high-end products, precision, and experience. Therefore, the management believed that combining Johnson & Matthey and Asahi would allow global expansion and technological advancement. In addition, this merger can help the mint establish and maintain stable relationships with international partners.


Asahi purchased Johnson Matthey’s Gold and refining of silver business for around 118 million pounds cash. Johnson Matthey is the biggest producer of auto-catalysts. For instance, the silver and gold refining unit accounted for 44 million pounds from 2020 to March 2021. The company earns a profit for sales of 25% per year.


Robert MacLeod, the CEO of Johnson Matthey, stated that selling the mint was part of a broader strategy that focuses on using the company’s knowledge in chemistry to create the latest technology. The management is convinced that buying the business was a good investment as it would expand the base of revenue.


Johnson Matthey Bullion Bars


Johnson Matthey Silver Bars


Silver bars made by the Johnson Matthey Refinery/Asahi Refinery are among the most recognizable worldwide. They are available in various sizes, and they all comply with the IRS requirements for inclusion within the personal IRA account. This company has been operating in precious metals for over 150 years. Through the 20th century, the company opened its first branch in South Africa. Then, a century later, it opened branches all around the world including Japan, Australia, and South Africa.


Johnson Matthey is a prestigious company globally recognized for its achievements in business, environmental, and international trade. The division for precious metals of the firm handles enormous quantities of silver, gold, platinum, and palladium. In addition, the presence of refineries both in the U.S. and in the U.K. allows the company to serve an extensive base of international clients in the fields of recycling, the technology industry, and jewelry.


Features of the Johnson Matthey Silver Bar


Johnson Matthey silver bar gives an array of styles and sizes. The majority of bars are simple designs; however, they have unique and attractive attributes. The weight of silver bars ranges from one ounce to 1 kilogram. Each bar is graded to the purity level of .999. The bars are offered in 1 Oz, 10 Oz, and 100 Oz weights. Each bar is marked with the following information:

  • Johnson Matthey logo
  • Weight of the bar
  • The serial number

The Benefits of Buying Johnson Matthey Silver Bars


The company has produced some of the most dependable silver bars globally. In addition to the fine craftsmanship, there are a variety of advantages to buying Johnson Matthey Silver bars. Precious Metals like Silver are considered an efficient way to diversify investment portfolios. Most companies that have shares traded in the stock market change hands. But, since the Johnson Matthey silver bar is a durable item, it can be secured and appreciated over time.


Johnson Matthey Silver bars are a fantastic security investment for your retirement savings account. It’s considered one of the main advantages of owning tangible precious metals. In addition, silver is thought of as a reliable security measure to protect investors from inflation. But, unfortunately, the increasing national debt and the massive printing of the U.S. dollar have weakened its value.


Johnson Matthey Gold Bars


The Johnson Matthey gold bar is a popular and well-known gold bullion bar. The bars are casted by British Conglomerate Johnson Matthey, the most notable being the 1 oz gold bar. The bar is cast in a rectangular form, with the front of the bar sporting its initials “J.M.” inscribed next to the Johnson Massey logo carrying two crossed Hammers.

The complete name for the mint, “Johnson Matthey Assayers & Refiners,” is written under the logo below the purity value “Fine Gold .9999” along with the weight of the bar “1 Ounce Troy” and an unique serial number. The serial numbers are not present on certain bars.

Note that Johnson Matthey no longer produces gold bars. The mint prefers cast gold ingots. Minted bars have flat surfaces because they are created from blank presses cut to specific dimensions. They are constructed from gold-plated sheets.

Johnson Matthey gold bars come in various weights. The majority of gold bars are made by the Canadian refinery and are available in 15 sizes. The sizes include 1/10 Oz, ¼ Oz, ½ Oz, 1 Oz, 2 Oz, 5 Oz, and 10 Oz. The measures in grams include 1 g, 2.5 g, 5 g, 10 g, 100 g, and 500 g bars. The most well-known Johnson Matthey gold bars are the 1 Oz and the 10 oz gold bars. The bars are all of a higher level of purity of .9999.

Johnson Matthey Bullion Coins

The mint created Johnson Matthey bullion coins made of gold, palladium, and silver. One of the most recognizable coins in the series is freedom rounds. They also produce silver coins with decorative designs. The silver freedom series was the first to be released and was available in sets of 10 pieces. The coins were designed to symbolize and represent American freedom. The themes featured on the coins include:

  • The right to vote
  • Freedom of speech
  • The right to privacy
  • The right to bear arms
  • Freedom of the press
  • Freedom of slavery
  • Freedom of religion
  • The right to counsel
  • The right to trial by jury
  • Freedom of assembly

The Freedom bullion coins were only minted in silver.

Revenue and Sales Pattern

According to the report published in 2017/18, sales at the Johnson Matthey mint grew by 7%. The revenues increased to 17%, and this was due to the price of precious metals. The mint earned an operating profit of £359 million. This includes the £90 million that the company put into significant repairs and restructuring. The company also spent £50 million on legal costs and still accumulated the profits mentioned above.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Asahi Holding / Asahi Refinery bought Johnson Matthey Refinery in 2015.

Johnson Matthey Refinery refines platinum, gold, and silver bullion products. 

PGM refineries are refineries that refine platinum and palladium to produce platinum and palladium bullion products.

No, Johnson Matthey Refineries DO NOT produce silver anymore. However, investors and collectors still purchase them through bullion dealers. 

References & Links


[1] Wikipedia, “Johnson Matthey,” 8 May 2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 20 June 2021].
[2] Asahi Holding, “Johnson Matthey,” 2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 20 June 2021].
[3] S. Antonioli, “Johnson Matthey sells gold and silver refining unit to Japan’s Asahi,” Reuters, 15 December 2014. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 20 June 2016].
[4] American Bullion, Inc, “Johnson Matthey Silver Bars,” 2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 20 June 2021].
[5] Gold IRA Guide, “Johnson Matthey Gold Bar,” 2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 21 June 2021].
[6] Johnson Matthey, “Financial Performance Review,” 2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 21 June 2021].
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Share on skype