Britannia Refined Metals is one of the largest lead producers in the world, as well as a world-class precious metals refinery.
Britannia Refined Metals was founded in 1930. The company belonged to the Swiss multinational corporation Xstrata before the latter was bought back in May 2013 by the Glencore group. The merger of the two groups gave birth to a commodities giant: Glencore-Xstrata is the fourth mining group in the world and it controls a large portion of the silver production. Glencore-Xstrata is quoted on the London and Hong Kong stock markets.
Due to the merger and acquisition strategy, Glencore-Xstrata has all the necessary resources to manage the key cycles of product life, from mining exploration and extraction to refining and delivery to clients. In fact, the company exploits its own mines and supplies itself. It also owns refining plants that produce gold and silver bullion bars.
However, its product range is limited. For silver, they produce 1,000oz silver bars only. These are recognizable by the engraved inscription “BLCO”.
Besides precious metals production, supply, processing and refining, Glencore-Xstrata is active in the transport, storage and financing of metals and minerals, energy and agricultural products.
Glencore also provides logistics and financial engineering and other services along the supply chain for many producers and consumers of those products.
Worthy of note is that the group is concurrently a producer and a trader of commodities.
Their silvers bars are accredited by the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association), which means they meet the standards of fineness and investment. Glencore-Xstrata is a controversial figure in the metalwork and mining sectors. The company has been accused of degrading the environment, pilfering mining resources, tax evasion and dubious money transfers via tax havens.
The subject of several lawsuits in many countries, the group is trying to rebuild its image by actively advocating for better respect of human rights and the environment.