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Photo Gallery

Royal Canadian Mint Visit

29 September 2011
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A refinery employee aligns a mould for the casting of a 400-ounce, 99.99% pure gold bar.
A refinery employee aligns a mould for the casting of a 400-ounce, 99.99% pure gold bar.
The Clerk and Michael Horgan are being shown a mixture of old gold coins which will be melted and refined into pure gold.  Scrap gold refining is a significant part of the Mint’s refinery business.The Clerk holding a 400-once, 99.99% pure gold bar.A refinery employee aligns a mould for the casting of a 400-ounce, 99.99% pure gold bar.A 400-ounce, 99.99% pure gold bar is being removed from its mould by a Refinery employee.  Gold is melted at over 1200 Degrees Centigrade during the casting process and remains very hot at this removal stage.99.99% pure gold is being poured into moulds for casting into 400 oz. bars.The Clerk is being congratulated by a Press Operator on doing a good job.The Clerk strikes a silver collector coin in the Mint’s state-of-the-art numismatic press room.  One of the Mint’s uniquely skilled press operators supervises his work.The Clerk carefully picks up a newly minted coin in the Mint’s state-of-the art numismatic (collector coin) press room.  All coins are held by their edge during inspection, to prevent any marking on their surface and maintain the flawless quality collectors in Canada and abroad - in countries such as New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines - have come to expect from the Royal Canadian Mint.Deputy Minister of Finance Michael Horgan tries his hand at digital engraving using ArtCAM software.Senior Mint Engraver Susan Taylor demonstrates the traditional engraving process, starting with a plaster model, gradually copied and reduced into a final metal die used to strike coins.  The Mint’s commitment to investing in new technology such as a digital engraving process has increased the Mint’s capacity to produce high-quality circulation, collector and bullion coins which enhance the reputation of the Mint and of Canada world-wide.A demonstration of the Mint’s state-of-the-art digital engraving process by Senior Mint Engraver Susan Taylor. Since 2001, coin designs previously sculpted in plaster are now sculpted directly on a monitor in full three-dimensional perspective using ArtCAM digital modelling software.Every by-product of the gold refining and manufacturing process, including these gold shavings, is recycled by the Mint.  Accounting for all the gold used in the course of refining, production and storage is a rigorous process the Mint carries out with exacting precision.Gold refined to 99.99% purity is cast into 400 ounce bars (400 ounces equates to almost 11.5 kg).
At a price of about $1,750 USD an ounce, each of these bars is worth at least $700,000 USD. Gold in this form is sold as “bullion” for investment purposes, where it is bought and sold purely for its metal value. 
A coiling machine “rolls up” a long silver bar as it exits the continuous casting machine.  The Mint recently invested in this coiling process to save space, improve efficiency and increase the volume of silver that can be rolled into strip for blanking and coining.Scott Ingham, Director of the Mint’s Ottawa Plant, demonstrates the continuous casting of pure silver bars to the Clerk.  This long silver bar will rolled into a giant coil and rolled out in another process to be reduced into a strip of the desired thickness for cutting into blanks which will be struck as coins.The weight of silver blanks is being checked on an automated weighing table.  The Mint guarantees the weight of an increasing volume of investment and collector coins.The Clerk in the production plant alongside employees Sylvie Bernier and Jean Malette.A newly struck one-kilogram 99.99% pure silver collector coin celebrating the Chinese Lunar Calendar’s Year of the Dragon.  The Royal Canadian Mint is known world-wide for its innovative and finely crafted collector coins, which range in size from a half-gram to ten kilograms of 99.999% pure gold.