Published 11:17 am, Wednesday, June 14, 2017
AUSTIN — The long-awaited Texas Bullion Depository — the Lone Star State’s version of Fort Knox — finally has a contract operator, a location and an opening date.
On Wednesday, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that Texas-based Lone Star Tangible Assets Management will partner with the state to open the first ever state depository of its kind.
The new facility will initially be located in North Austin, and is expected to begin receiving gold as early as January 2018, officials said.
“We chose them because we believe they are the right combination of experience, financial stability and infrastructure,” Hegar said during a press conference announcing the first details of the project.
Lone Star has an initial contract with the state for five years with two, one-year extension options Hegar said.
The company will be tasked with running and building the high-security site that was created to house gold bullion owned by the University of Texas Investment Management Company that manages investments for the UT and Texas A&M systems, as well as private bullion.
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Two years ago, the Texas Legislature passed a bill tasking the Comptroller’s office with developing a state-run bullion depository, but progress had been slow since then. Today marks second public announcement in three days about the depository, the first being the naming of Tom Smelker as the depository administrator.
Smelker currently heads treasury operations for the Comptroller’s Office.
“This has been a monumental undertaking,” Hegar said. “This is a very complex with many unique challenges.”