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article imageCanadian Mint's missing millions finally found

By Stephanie Dearing     Dec 22, 2009 in Business
The mystery surrounding the missing millions at the Royal Canadian Mint, reported earlier this year, has been solved. The missing precious metals were the focus of a police investigation and several accounting reviews.
Ottawa, ON - Errors were the reason for the missing bullion. That is the conclusion of several accounting reviews, while the RCMP [PDF] said its investigation did not uncover any criminal reason for the loss of the metals. Miscounting errors took care of $8 million of the reported $15.3 million worth of metals missing.
Head of the mint, located on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, Ian Bennett stated in a press release "Last month, the RCMP concluded their investigation and established that no theft of gold occurred at the mint. Today, I am pleased to announce that following extensive and thorough reviews, all precious metals for 2008 have been accounted for."
Aside from the miscounting error, there was an underestimation error, in which the amount of metals that would be used in coin production were underestimated, thus meaning there were more precious metals ending up in slag piles than previously calculated. The portion of precious metals that ended up in the slag piles were sold off at a low price, accounting for about $3 million of the total "missing" $15.3. The Mint said that a further $1.6 million worth of the rest of the "missing" metals were actually found in the building and in the machinery used to create coins and bars.
The story got started in late 2008, when the Mint's bi-annual internal count uncovered millions of missing gold. The mint did not go public with the loss until the summer, when its own investigation failed to discover what happened to cause the loss.
In spite of the loss of the precious metals, now accounted for, the Mint announced it made a record profit in 2009 - $55.3 million, to be precise. The Mint said that it only cost about $1.3 million to conduct the reviews into the "missing" metals. The review reports have proposed over 150 recommendations for the Mint to put into place.
Mint employees will get their performance bonuses for 2009 now that the metals have been accounted for.
More about Canadian mint, Milling millions, Mystery missing canadian gold
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