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Identifying the source of illicit gold from South America

Roger D. Dixon and Roland K. W. Merkle
Identifying the source of illicit gold from South America (in Forensic soil science and geology, R. W. Fitzpatrick (editor) and L. J. Donnelly (editor))
Special Publication - Geological Society of London (May 2019) 492 (1): 135-145


Illicit trade in gold, mainly sourced from South America and Africa, is used to fund criminal activities such as the drug trade. Laundering money through the purchase of illicit gold, then having it refined and being paid in clean funds is a major problem, and drives the further growth in illicit mining. In order to restrict the influx of illicit gold into the legal domain, it is necessary to be able to identify the traded item as being of a licit or illicit nature. The only way that this can be done with any certainty is by the determining, from its chemical composition, the source of the gold and the means by which it has been processed and upgraded. The example dealt with here shows how a use of compositional, processing and geological knowledge is able to discriminate gold from different origins. Data derived from the physical sample is far better able to constrain the source than a paper trail of certification, which can be manipulated.

ISSN: 0305-8719
Serial Title: Special Publication - Geological Society of London
Serial Volume: 492
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Identifying the source of illicit gold from South America
Title: Forensic soil science and geology
Author(s): Dixon, Roger D.Merkle, Roland K. W.
Author(s): Fitzpatrick, R. W.editor
Author(s): Donnelly, L. J.editor
Affiliation: University of Pretoria, Department of Geology, Pretoria, South Africa
Pages: 135-145
Published: 20190523
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 77
Accession Number: 2019-077972
Categories: Economic geology, geology of ore depositsEnvironmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
N00°45'00" - N12°10'00", W73°15'00" - W59°55'00"
S04°00'00" - N12°15'00", W79°00'00" - W67°00'00"
Source Note: Online First
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201941
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