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The Perth Mint, ASX near launch of gold futures contract

The Perth Mint and the ASX are working together to launch a new gold futures contract.

The CEO of The Perth Mint in Western Australia, Richard Hayes, told SNL Metals & Mining on the sidelines of the Precious Metals Investment Symposium in Sydney, Australia, that the collaboration will allow customers to take physical delivery of gold.

"The way that it will work is, effectively, it will be marketed through the ASX, and The Perth Mint will act as the custodian or the storage facility for that ASX contract," he said.

Perth is the primary physical aggregation point in Australia and is recognized as a key benchmark pricing location in the Asia region, which is home to two major precious metals consumers, China and India.

According to The Perth Mint, the derivatives products will provide precious metals market participants with a transparent and relevant forward price curve, enabling them to more effectively hedge their exposures.

While Hayes could not say exactly when the futures contract would be launched, he said it is "not that far away."

The Perth Mint booked a turnover of A$9 billion in the 2016 financial year and refines about 34 million ounces of gold and silver annually.

It is one of the top six refiners globally and supplies about 300 tonnes of gold each year.

The Perth Mint depositary holds precious metals for some very large pension funds in Europe, as well as sovereign wealth funds and some foreign governments.

Besides the futures contract with the ASX, The Perth Mint is also looking at partnerships offshore.

"We do have a couple of things on the boil at the moment that I'm not really at liberty to talk about, but we have two fairly exciting developments that hopefully will come to fruition in the next 12 months," Hayes told SNL. "They're both international initiatives."