Metalor Refinery

metalor refinery

The Metalor Refinery was formerly called the Metaux Precieux SA Metalor. It is a Swiss-based mint that was founded in 1852. On July 12, 2016, Tanaka Kikinzoku K.K. Tokyo, Japan announced that it would acquire 100% of the majority shares in Metalor Technologies International SA. 


Metalor Technologies SA is a famous gold refiner and manufacturer. Its headquarters are in Neuchatel, 150 km from Zurich. The town is located overlooking Lake Neuchatel. Metalor Refinery plants are where most of the casting and refining of bars and other precious metal products is done.


The company runs four gold refineries in four different countries. The refineries include:


  • Metalor Technologies Corporation, USA
  • Hong Kong Metalor Technologies (Hong Kong) Limited
  • China Metalor Technologies (Suzhou) Limited
  • Singapore Metalor Technologies Singapore Pvt Ltd


Metalor Technologies SA is a privately owned company by the French Private Equity Astorg Partners. The Metalor Group has been lauded for being the only precious metals company to operate major refineries across three continents including Europe, the Americas, and Asia.


The mint has received several accreditations from different bullion markets across the globe. The accreditation includes:


  • The 1934 London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)
  • The 1974 CME Group-Market Contract: COMEX
  • The 2007 Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM)


The mint is also responsible for producing London Good Delivery silver, platinum, and palladium bars. Metalor Technologies SA was accredited by the Responsible Jewelry Council in 2003. The LBMA in 2004 recognized Metalor Technologies SA among the five Referees for the London Good Delivery system. Metalor technologies were named a referee for the London Platinum & Palladium market in 2011.


It was initially founded as a watch case and gold producer called Martin, de Pury & Cie in 1852. The Swiss Bank Corporation took over the company in 1918. In 1936, Metaux Precieux SA was officially created.


Later, the headquarters of Metalor Group was moved from Le Locle (now Neuchatel) in 1947. There was a precious-metal refinery plant. In 1978, Metaux Precieux SA Metalor was given the company’s new name. In 1998, the Swiss Bank Corporation was merged into the Union Bank of Switzerland. This merger transferred majority shares to an industrial investor group. Later, the company’s name was changed to Metalor Technologies SA (2001).


The Metalor Group is a North Attleboro-based refiner of gold that has been in operation since 1989. The company has been producing gold in Hong Kong and China (Suzhou) since 1982. It has also made gold in Singapore since 2013. Metalor Refinery purchased Johnson Matthey Hong Kong, a gold and silver refining plant.


Metalor Group has 17 subsidiaries. In 2012, the Metalor Group’s business divisions were reorganized into three main branches. They include electronics, advanced coatings, refining, and other business branches. They include:


  • Europe: Switzerland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, UK.
  • Americas: USA, Canada, Mexico, Peru.
  • Far East: China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand.


Metalor Gold Bars


The Metalor refinery produces six cast bars and four minted bars. The 400 Oz, 1,000 g cast bars are 500 g, 250 g, 100 grams and 10 tolas. There are also 100 g bars, 50 g bars, 20 g bars, and 1 Oz bar. After Le Locle’s acquisition in 1918, the Swiss Bank Corporation purchased the Metalor refinery and produced the first gold bars.


1934 was the first year that the London Good Delivery 400 Oz bars were issued by The Metalor Mint. These bars were the first to be recognized by the London Gold Market. From 1934 to 1954, the Metalor gold bars were manufactured under Societe de Banque Suisse. From 1954, bars bearing a Metalor stamp were available.


Investors were most fond of the “kilobars,” a 100-gram bar weighing around 100 grams, before 1934. The bars’ dimensions were altered in 1965. In 1965, 5 smaller cast bars were introduced by the company. These included 500g, 250g, 100g, 50g, 10 Oz, and 10 tolas.

Metalor Refinery Products

The Reasons Tanaka Acquired Metalor Refinery


Tanaka develops and sells products made of precious metals. These products serve as critical components in many industries. For example, they make automobiles, communicative devices, and house appliances. Also, precious metals can be used to make semiconductors. The company also can refine and recover precious metals from various industrial scraps.


Metalor Refinery is a Swiss company with global distribution and a diverse portfolio. The company is focused on the recovery and refining of precious metals at high purity levels. 


Like Tanaka, the company has three main business lines: manufacturing electrical contacts, recovery and refining, and plating solutions. Most precious metal bullion is sourced from North America and Europe.


Metalor enjoys a great reputation, especially in Europe. The company is well-known for developing proprietary technologies to make silver alloys electrical contacts. Metalor manufactures and sells plating products made from precious metals and the appropriate plating equipment. The plating solution provided by the company is considered one of the most advanced in Europe.


Tanaka Kikinzoku K.K. has not yet ventured into this market. Metalor by Tanaka was purchased to allow the company to expand its capabilities to recover and refine precious metallics in new locations throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and Europe. However, the company has yet to establish a strong customer base in these areas. Tanaka bought Metalor to increase sales for its products.


The acquisition resulted in the perfect combination of both companies’ operations in surface treatment and electric contacts. Both companies have vast experience in their respective areas. Tanaka aims to meet the needs of all its customers. The company intends to expand its international footprint, particularly in North America and Europe.


Since 1885 when the company was founded in Japan, the Tanaka Group has developed a diverse range of precious metal products. On April 1, 2010, the group’s Tanaka Precious Metals company became majority-owned. This move was intended to improve corporate governance and overall customer service. The company was able to achieve dynamic execution of its operations.


With the high volume of traded precious metals, Tanaka is a major player in Japan’s bullion market. This group has been around for more than 130 years and has continued to supply precious metals and related products. The group’s core business is in refining precious metals. It plans to improve people’s lives in the future.


Metalor Group is a multi-faceted industrial entity specializing in processing precious metals in 17 different countries. The company employs over 1,500 people. Metalor CEO Michael Tanaka stated that Tanaka Group was the best shareholder for Metalor.


Tanaka is in the Ginza district, which has some of the highest land values in Japan. It is a popular destination for tourists from all around the world and local Japanese. The Tanaka headquarters has a store that stocks platinum and sparkling gold jewelry. Tanaka also has businesses that produce industrial appliances and jewelry in Japan.


Tanaka America is the strategic base. The company’s main role is to extract precious metals and recycle e-waste. For more than 50 years, the company has been active in the urban mining industry. The company has four North American branches.


The scrap that the company recycles is from old computers, cars, and smartphones. Tanaka mint uses technology to refine various precious metals such as gold and platinum. The company makes the metal pure. Metalor mints and Tanaka have been combined to bring together two companies with extensive experience and expertise in refining precious metallics.


Tanaka’s current focus is on traceable precious metallics. Traceable precious stones have legal resources that can easily be identified. Contrary to popular belief, conflict precious metal refers to illegal special metallics mined from conflict zones. These minerals are frequently used to finance rebels and terrorist organizations that control the minerals in war zones.


Gold is highly sought after and has a high market price. This makes gold a favorite among illegal dealers, who use the funds for criminal activity. Tanaka mint does not trade in traceable precious Metals. This is because they believe that trading in conflict-free precious Metals brings value to all those involved in the distribution process.


Most of the earth’s gold can be found underground, hundreds of thousands of kilometers. This makes it difficult to mine such precious metal. Many countries, including Japan, are short on mineral resources. Recycling and refining precious metals to high purity are the best way to reduce mining costs. This is one way that precious metal products can be acquired on the market.


Japan’s demand for precious metals has prompted it to develop advanced recovery and refining technology. There is expected to be an increase in demand for viable precious materials. 


High-precision radars are one of the main reasons for this increase in demand. These radars are a key component in automating vehicles with IoT technology. It was estimated that by 2020 there will be more than 30 billion IoT devices.


Experts agree that urban mining or recycling precious metals is a growing trend. However, experts warn that scrap recovery is more difficult due to technological advancements. Tanaka mint sees the challenge as an opportunity to explore recycling and refining.


Six different companies are under the control of the Tanaka precious materials group. They include Metalor silver products and gold companies. This subsidiary specializes in producing silver and gold products that are commonly used for automotive materials. The second subsidiary is a chemical processing company that specializes in the production of fuel cell catalysts.


The rest of the businesses are in recycling. Tanaka Precious Metal Group is one of few companies that can participate in the extraction and refining of precious metals and material development.

Tanaka is a leader in the material recovery industry. The company can develop new recovery methods before next-generation materials can be produced.


Gold Services and Products from the Metalor Refinery


The Metalor Refinery focuses on offering four main gold services and products, which include:


  • Refining and recycling gold scrap
  • Manufacturing gold products for the jewelry industry
  • Producing gold products for the electronics and decorative industries
  • Minting gold bars.


Metalor Gold Refining and Recycling Of Scrap


In most cases, the company accepts gold products and materials in the following conditions:


  • Semi-refined bullion
  • My Dore is mostly gold
  • My Dore is mostly silver
  • Loaded carbon
  • Old jewelry
  • Manufacturing jewelry from scrap
  • Electronic scrap
  • Dental scrap
  • Old coins and medals
  • Chemical solutions


The company uses electrolysis and chemical chlorination (aqua regia), as well as other methods of refining gold. Globally, the company has a gold refining capacity that exceeds 650 tons annually.

Organization Structure of Metalor Refinery


Metalor Precious Metal Group operates three divisions. These include electronics, refining, and advanced coat. 


The electrical section uses precious metals to make different electronic devices. 


Advanced coating furnishes electroplating equipment and solutions for alloy manufacturing. These alloys are used for manufacturing luxury watches and jewelry.


The refinery division produces precious metals out of industrial scrap and mining output. Metalor has several refineries in various countries, including the US, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Metalor gold is refined in Singapore since 2013.

Metalor is regarded as one of the best precious metals refineries in the world and follows a strict standard process to ensure quality and pure bullion products.

Metalor and other precious metal refineries like PAMP Suisse, Credit Suisse, South African Mint, and the like are all reputable refineries. 

Metalor Refinery is a popular and reputable precious metal refinery producing high quality .9999 purity using Metalor Technologies. 

References and Links

[1]Wikipedia, “Métaux Précieux SA Métalor,” 11 April 2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 18 June 2021].
[2]Metalor Refining Group, “Gold Bars Worldwide,” 2014. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 18 June 2021].
[3]Tanaka Holdings Co., Ltd, “Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. Acquires the Shares of Metalor Technologies International SA, Making it a Wholly Owned Subsidiary,” 12 July 2016. [Online]. Available:,-making-it-a-wholly-owned-subsidiary. [Accessed 18 June 2021].
[4]Business Insider, “This is how a 100-year-old precious metals company is changing recycling,” 2 Jul 2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 18 June 2021].
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