AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Texas version of Fort Knox is now open in north Austin. Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s office announced the Texas Bullion Depository is open to the public for them to store gold, silver and other precious metals in its 23,000 square foot vault.
Next year, they’ll open the larger facility in Leander, enough for tens of billions of dollars in precious metals in two vaults.
Hegar told KXAN he put in a few thousand dollars worth himself. “I can make sure that Glen Hegar is willing to show that it’s safe and secure,” said Hegar.
Individual people, companies, investors, even other governments could hold their metal at this location. The University of Texas and Texas A&M have $1 billion worth of gold but no word yet if they’ll move it into the depository.
“This is not something that 28 million Texans are going to sign up tomorrow. That’s not going to happen. But the reality is this is another service opportunity for a subset of Texans who want this option,” said Hegar.
Lone Star Tangible Assets is the private company that will operate the depository through a public-private partnership.
It took several years for the state to get a bullion depository. In 2013 it didn’t pass muster with lawmakers because the state would have paid $14 million to build it. When the private company Lone Star Tangible Assets agreed to build and pay for it, the new plan passed. The company will recoup the money in fees until the project is paid off, then the state of Texas will receive 10 percent of the profits.
If you’re thinking of storing metal, the annual fee to store $100,000 worth of metal at the Texas Bullion Depository is $500 a year. All metals would be insured through Lloyd’s of London insurance marketplace.
Chairman of Lone Star Tangible Assets and executive director of the Texas Bullion Depository, Matt Ferris says other private depositories haven’t been as reliable.
“One day someone calls to withdraw their precious metals and everything can’t be accounted for—which is a problem. We aim to make sure that never happens,” said Ferris.
This depository will be audited and guarded by the state—government oversight that is unique in the depository world.