In November, Austin-based Lone Star Tangible Assets announced that it would build the Texas Bullion Depository in Leander. The Texas Comptroller’s office will have direct oversight of the facility, and LSTA will undergo detailed annual audits of its operations and provide reports to the comptroller.
According to a representative with LSTA, the company is in the final stages of architectural planning, permitting and pre-construction, and is about two months away from breaking ground on the Leander facility. LSTA expects to begin operations at the location in mid-2019.
In the meantime, the state-administered precious metals depository began operating out of LSTA’s current Austin facility June 6. According to a state press release, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar became the first customer to store precious metals in the depository.
"We're proud that the nation's first state-administered bullion depository is now a reality—this is a big day for Texans who want to secure their precious metal assets," Hegar said in the release.
The Texas Bullion Depository accepts gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium. U.S. citizens can ship precious metals they already own to the depository, or purchase bullion from a dealer and have it shipped to the depository directly, according to the comptroller’s office.
LSTA Chairman Matt Ferris said the company tests and verifies the precious metals before they are stored in depositor’s account, and digital images will be displayed on an online dashboard.
State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, who authored the legislation that created the depository, said Texas can expect to see interest in the facility.
"I can't think of anyplace else in the world that could create a bullion depository this way, and I've heard from legislators across the country who want to do what we are doing, from Tennessee to Utah," he said in the release.