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  • Central bank domestic gold purchase programmes

    26 April, 2021

    Today, we publish a new report – Central bank domestic ASGM purchase programmes – which discusses the growing trend of central banks buying gold from domestically-produced sources, and the role that these institutions can play in developing and formalising the Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector in their countries. Central banks have been adding gold to their official reserves for 11 consecutive years, with the majority obtaining the gold from the international market. A smaller share of central banks source gold from domestic production as well. Buying gold domestically has distinct advantages as it allows a central bank to buy a reserve asset with their own currency instead of US dollars.

    The ability of the central bank to act as a catalyst for ASGM sector formalisation is also a major benefit for domestic purchase programmes. ASGM activity provides a livelihood to over 20 million people globally. Promoting greater formalisation can increase prosperity and alleviate some of the socially and environmentally damaging issues that impact this sector. Given the size and influence of central banks in their domestic markets, they can be used to foster and enforce lasting change through the implementation of international standards and best practices for the ASGM sector.


    In our report, we examine four countries whose central banks buy gold from domestic sources – the Philippines, Mongolia, Ecuador, and Ethiopia. In each case, we explore the evolution of the domestic purchase programme, the structure and requirements of each programme, and the impact on the local ASGM sector. We also present the key challenges of disseminating international standards in this sector, reviewing the various obstacles that domestic purchase programmes have tried to overcome. Taken as a whole, this report can serve as a resource for any government or central bank that is looking to establish their own domestic purchase programme.

    The new report is available on Goldhub.