Most of the gold produced in the world transits physically through Switzerland. Three out of five refineries in the world are based in Switzerland.
In 2011, over 2,600 metric tons of raw gold were imported into Switzerland, to a value of over SFr96 billion, according to figures from the federal customs administration. This is the highest figure ever recorded.
The year before, imports had reached 2,326 metric tons (SFr70 billion).
Between 1990 and 2007, Switzerland imported between 1,000 and 1,600 metric tons of gold per year, with a value varying between SFr15.7 billion (1994) and SFr32 billion (2007).
Swiss companies belong to the Good Delivery List of the LBMA
Six Swiss companies belong to the Good Delivery List of the London Bullion Market Association, which means that they meet all the standards set by this London-based industry watchdog.
Valcambi SA of Balerna, founded in 1961 and now owned by the US group Newmont Mining Corporation, has an annual refining capacity of about 1,400 metric tons. It has a staff of 165.
Pamp SA of Castel San Pietro (1977 – MKS SA Geneva) has an annual refining capacity of 450 metric tons. It has a staff of 160.
Argor-Heraeus SA of Mendrisio (founded 1951) has an annual refining capacity of 400 metric tons. It has a staff of 230 in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and South America.
Metalor Technologies SA, located in Neuchâtel, has existed since 1852 under the name Martin de Pury & Cie. Today, the group has a staff of 1,650 around the world. It has an annual refining capacity of about 650 metric tons.
Other than the four large refineries, Cendres + Metaux SA in Biel and PX Précinox SA in La Chaux-de-Fonds are also affiliated with the LBMA. These two firms have not disclosed annual refining capacities.