A very interesting move has taken place in the Netherlands today. De Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch central bank, is moving 200 tonnes of gold from Amsterdam to Haarlem. All of this is part of the central bank’s plan to rebuild.
A Colossal Gold Move
Witnessing a major transport of bullion is a rather rare event. Large-scale operations are usually conducted during the night, but this one was somewhat different. De Nederlandsche Bank transported 14,000 bars and 1,000 boxes of gold coins to a safe in Haarlem. This entire operation was guarded closely, as a lot of value was moving across public roads all of a sudden.
For this 12.5 mile trip, armed military police, policy motorcycle outriders, and a police helicopter were present. It took roughly 24 hours to complete the entire process. No irregularities have been reported during the process, which is somewhat surprising. Well-guarded convoys tend to attract a lot of attention.
Accompanying this massive amount of bullion were 4.5 billion euros in paper bills. This brings the total value of this transport to just under 15 billion euro, or $17 billion. All of these items had to be moved to Haarlem as the bank is looking to rebuild its headquarters in Amsterdam.
More specifically, De Nederlandsche Bank will renovate the Amsterdam offices,. Moving the bullion and bills to Haarlem will only serve as a temporary solution. A new vault will be built in the town of Zeist, but construction has yet to begin. It is unclear if this is due to COVID-19, or completely different reasons.
De Nederlandsche Bank and its Reserves
Judging by the most recent statistics regarding Dutch gold reserves, there are 622.5 tonnes of gold in reserves. This does not represent physical bullion per se. Nor is all the gold stored in vaults maintained by De Nederlandsche Bank in the Netherlands either. That said, this move represents a fraction of the national gold reserves, but still marks a significant physical move regardless.
It will be interesting to see if the country decides to increase gold reserves in the future. After all, they have not moved by much in recent years. At its peak in the past 20 years, De Nederlandsche Bank held 911.82 tonnes of gold.
It is unclear why one-third of that balance sheet was converted to something else. Gold is, along with other precious metals and Bitcoin, one of the few safe havens left in the world today.