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DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on Thursday it would launch a responsible sourcing scheme for gold refiners in February and planned to publish monthly gold import and export data, part of a push to increase transparency and combat illicit trading.

The UAE is one of the world's biggest bullion trade hubs and has come under pressure to tighten regulation. The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), for example, has said it could blacklist countries that lack adequate oversight, restricting their access to the mainstream gold trade.

Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said a UAE Good Delivery Standard requiring gold refiners to scrutinise suppliers and prove to outside auditors they do not deal in gold linked to crime and human rights would, however, be voluntary.

Spot gold may revisit $1,876.90; pullback surprisingly shallow

The UAE had previously told Reuters the standard would be made compulsory for refiners as part of a strategy to gradually bring the whole UAE gold industry in line with responsible sourcing standards.

The UAE government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Speaking at the Dubai Precious Metals Conference, Al Zeyoudi also said the government planned to publish monthly gold trade data.

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