Metals and gemstone mining

24 April 2017

Over time, miners of precious metals and gemstones have become highly adept at managing the risk of theft and fraud across the project lifecycle. The remote nature of operations combined with the high value of assets means mining companies are ideal targets.

From extracting, refining, and through to the sale of product, mining companies must ensure that they have appropriate security in place to limit the risk of criminality and potential losses of revenue or production stoppages. While security requirements are onerous, ranging from physical security measures on site and at plant, to measures to vet the company workforce and third party contractors and transporters, the need to keep one step ahead is essential.

While mining companies become ever more sophisticated at managing evolving theft risks at the mine site and during shipment, there is a new trend that has already seen a number of mining companies experience financial loss. Social engineering –a newly emerged type of cyber fraud – has hit the news headlines in recent months.

Today, it is not only the mined precious metals or gemstones that are at risk. A company’s electronic funds, intellectual property, financial data and reputation are all potentially vulnerable as mining company headquarters are targeted directly by cyber criminals. A broader view of a mining company’s exposure to theft is therefore required, and new safeguards put in place.

As theft and fraud risks evolve, and as criminal groups and other perpetrators become more sophisticated in their tactics, mining companies must continually stress test their risk management procedures to ensure that they are robust enough to handle these changing risks. Part of this process can include the transferring of risks that simply cannot be mitigated or managed appropriately. The insurance products available to mining companies to counter these risks - ‘Specie’ for physical theft risks and ‘Cyber Crime’ for social engineering and technology-based risks - have also advanced. 

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For further information, please contact Barry Vickery, Partner on +44 (0)207 528 4958 or email or Harry Floyd, Partner on +44 (0)207 466 1305 or email


contact Barry Vickery
Senior Partner, Specie Fine Art and Jewellery
contact Harry Floyd
Partner, JLT Mining