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Seven start supply chain consortium to standardise blockchain for mining industry

Seven mining and metals companies have joined a World Economic Forum initiative to design and deploy blockchain solutions for the whole industry.

The seven founding companies are Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group, Glencore, Klöckner & Co, Minsur, Tata Steel, Anglo American/De Beers (Tracr). The group will look to develop joint proofs for an “inclusive” blockchain platform to help the industry increase transparency and efficiency and improve reporting of carbon emissions, said the World Economic Forum. 

It explained blockchain projects have been bilateral, until now, resulting in systems that have tended to be fractured and interoperable, and generally inaccessible. A standardised blockchain platform for the wider mining and metals industry will increase trust between upstream and downstream partners, by affording a way to track provenance, chain of custody, and production methods.

The new grouping seeks to capitalise on interest from industry members in a consortium-based approach to a standardised blockchain solution. A blockchain survey from Deloitte, published in May, found 92 per cent of respondents ither belong to a consortium or plan to join one in the next 12 months.

The World Economic Forum, said: “This new initiative is owned and driven by the industry, for the industry. Members will examine issues related to governance, develop case studies and establish a working group.”

Jörgen Sandström, head of the mining and metals industry for the World Economic Forum, commented: “Material value chains are undergoing profound change and disruption. The industry needs to respond to the increasing demands of minerals and materials while responding to increasing demands by consumers, shareholders and regulators for a higher degree of sustainability and traceability of the products.”

The press statement came with quotes from all members; the best of them are below.

T.V. Narendran, chief executive at Tata Steel Limited, said: “Our heavy industries are responsible for about a third of global Co2 energy emissions today. To meet the Paris goals, we all have to contribute and joint action that focuses on driving down emissions is needed cross-industry, collaboration and scaling up technology can certainly accelerate this process.”

Ivan Arriagada, chief executive at Antofagasta Minerals, said: “We hope this collaboration and pilot will give us practical examples of how blockchain can increase efficiency of the supply chain management and improve interoperability, address certain supply chain management risks such as transparency and consumer trust, and unlock opportunities including integration of key data such on environmental impact such carbon emissions.”

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