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Umicore Bullion Investment

If you have ever shopped for bullion, you will undoubtedly have seen Umicore bullion. In this article, we are going to take a deep dive into Umicore to find out more about the history, the business, and the metal.

Along the way, we hope to answer any pending questions you may have, such as how Umicore started, what types of bullion it provides, and why Umicore may be a good investment choice for you.


Umicore is one of the leading gold refineries in the world, and it is the largest precious metals recycler in the world. Its recycling unit, based in Hanau, Germany, provides most of their precious metals; it is the largest recycling plant of its kind in the world, recycling 20 valuable metals from scrap materials.

Most of their scrap materials come from industrial businesses and jewellery makers. One intriguing fact about Umicore’s facility is that it only needs 4 tonnes of used mobile phones instead of 200 tonnes of ore to produce a 1kg gold bar.

In Umicore’s precious metals division, their focus on recycling materials to produce their bullion means that their gold is conflict-free. This is a key to their sustainability plan, which, since the 1990s, has focused on sustainability.

Over the past two decades, Umicore has won numerous awards for their endeavours in sustainability, such as the International Sustainability Award and being ranked first in the Global 100’s Most Sustainable Companies in the World in 2013.

Umicore’s History

Umicore was launched in 1989 after the merger of three businesses: Vieille Montagne, which was involved in zinc production; Metallurgie Hoboken-Overpelt, which dealt in various metals; and Machim, which was involved in engineering.

Umicore was originally known as Union Minière, and its name went through a few transitions after the merger before finally becoming Umicore.

The main business area of Umicore was originally precious metals; it still is, but in the 1990s, a corporate restructure resulted in the development of Umicore’s current four key business areas: energy materials, recycling, catalysis, and performance materials.

Key Business Operations

As noted above, Umicore is involved in several fields of industrial manufacturing, but we are going to focus on precious metals recycling and refining.

Umicore is regarded as one of the world’s leading refineries, producing bullion bars with purities of up to 99.99% (24-carat), or in other words, 999.9 parts in1,000 which is generally accepted as pure gold.

In addition to gold, Umicore recycles and refines a whole host of precious and valuable metals obtained from scrap metals, including antimony, cobalt, and tin.

Regarding their precious metals production, Umicore utilises several strategies. Firstly, Umicore is a toll refiner. What this means is that Umicore contracts some of their refining to some of their customer refineries for a fee.

Secondly, Umicore is the largest recycler of precious metals in the world; therefore, a large portion of their precious metals business division involves taking scrap metal, processing it, extracting and casting precious metal ingots, and then selling them.

Thirdly, and as an extension of their precious metals recycling division, Umicore has a warehouse where precious metals are stored, and through management systems that are in place, Umicore can provide a wide range of financial trading or investing services. For example, Umicore can provide metal transfers, leasing, geo-swaps, metal-swaps, and other financial trading strategies.

This allows investors the flexibility of chain sales and the ability to use less upfront capital for making greater gains —though with greater risks too.

Umicore’s Bullion

Curiously, since mining and gold extraction began several thousand years ago, less than 200,000 tonnes of gold have been produced. Most of this is still available in jewellery, technological equipment and bullion stocks. Yet this quantity would barely fill four Olympic swimming pools.

However, the most important point is that recycling accounts for 30% of the gold produced around the world each year, and Umicore is the leader.

Umicore refines and sells a range of precious metals and valuable metals, including gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Their bullion bars come in two types. These are stamped bars and cast bars.

Stamped bars are pure bullion bars that have been imprinted with beautiful designs, shaped with elegant ridges, and enhanced with a polish. All this makes for a beautiful and elegant looking bullion bar.

The other type of bullion bar offered by Umicore is known as a cast bar. These bars, as the name suggests, have been cast and imprinted with only the essential information, such as the company branding, purity, and serial number.

Buying Umicore Bullion

Umicore’s bullion bars come in a range of sizes, both stamped bars and cast bars, to suit all preferences.

Their stamped bars range from 1g to 100g for gold and 100g for silver. Their cast bars range from 100g to 1 kilo for gold and 250g to 5 kilos for silver.

Umicore also sells palladium and platinum bars, and like silver and gold, both are offered as stamped bars and cast bars.

Invest in Umicore Bullion

Here at UK Bullion we sell a variety of Umicore bullion products, from 1g to 1kg gold bars and 100g to 5 kilo silver bars.

We offer the options of fully insured, tracked UK delivery to your address, or low cost, fully insured storage for your bullion our secure vaults.

Considering a purchase of Umicore bullion? Find Umicore products here