Categories: Tech

Illegal gold used by Big Tech

Bad news for the Big Tech, and not only. Brazilian police claim that an Italian refiner purchased illegally mined gold in the Amazon rainforest region. And that it then sold it to four of the largest tech companies in the world: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple e Microsoft. On the other hand, all the companies report the Italian Chimet as supplier of the raw material. Except that Big Tech found themselves buying and using a considerable amount of illegal gold in production.

Illegal gold: Big Tech buy it from an Italian refinery and use it in production

According to some documents collected by Reporter Brasil, and then passed to Reuters, the Brazilian federal police have accused the Italian company Chimet of having bought millions of dollars in gold from the merchant Brazil CHM, who allegedly acquired the precious metal illegally from wild miners. In response, the trader stated – through a lawyer – that the gold had been bought legally, complete with documentation that would testify to it. A statement that still leaves him doubtful, especially considering how much illegal mining has increased in Brazil.

Instituto Escolhas estimated that the country produced 84 tons of illegal gold in the first two years in office by Jair Bolsonaro, President since 2019. “A company that is buying gold from Brazil already knows that there is a huge risk of buying irregular gold, Amazonian blood gold”. So he stated Larissa Rodrigues, author of the Escolhas report. A Chimet representative, on the other hand, stated that the company has terminated relations with CHM after learning of some allegations against it in October 2021. A police document dated August 2021, in fact, states that the Italian company would have purchased from CHM gold for a worth 385 million dollars between 2015 and 2020.

In fact, Chimet does not have a direct relationship with the four technology majors. Rather, it sells gold to banks that can resell it for a variety of uses. Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft declined to comment. While Apple has stated that its policy prohibits the use of illegally mined minerals. Chimet said that after learning about the CHM investigation in Brazil, it hired the audit firm Deloitte to conduct an audit of its other suppliers. And in April 2022 it was re-certified by the Precious Metals Market Association LBMA as complying with responsible gold sourcing standards.

Published by
Walker Ronnie

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