Technology provider Minexx has exported minerals with full financial transparency from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), by processing $250 000 of blockchain-certified payments.
In a statement, Minexx acclaims that this represents a milestone for the company, as well as the sector, as it secures the supply chain from the moment a mineral comes out of the ground to the point at which it goes into technology, such as smartphones and electric cars.
The demand for minerals such as cobalt, copper, tin and tungsten has rapidly increased in line with the growing appetite for technology. Many are sourced by artisanal miners with 250-million people globally who depend on this informal industry, many of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa, the company notes.
“It is the most unsophisticated $100-billion market in the world. But now, advances in technology, such as blockchain and digital payments, give us an opportunity to reshape this sector, from the moment a mineral comes out of the ground, tracing its journey into our consumer goods,” says Minexx CEO and founder Marcus Scaramanga.
Blockchain has a critical role to play in improving traceability programmes. Coupled with digital payments, it brings the supply chain fully into the financial system while delivering operational efficiencies to reduce the cost to market, Minexx posits.
The Minexx blockchain platform, which has global application, enables trade and compliance, which the company says brings benefits to miners, smelters, traders, technology companies and governments, while directly impacting on 10 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Minexx points out that the European Union (EU) has, from January 1, introduced new regulations to ensure companies importing tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold, meet international responsible sourcing standards set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“This is good for the miners at one end of the supply chain and consumers at the other. In between, tech companies, along with smelters and refiners, can operate with more certainty about the integrity of their supply chains and the more transactions are flowing in the financial system, the greater the ability of governments to tax.
“Crucially, it also benefits the artisanal miners. The platform provides an all-round solution to the compromised clean tech transition, bringing traceability, transparency and trust,” adds Scaramanga.