Global blockchain platform Minexx has exported minerals with full financial transparency from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), by processing $250 000 of blockchain certified payments.
This is a milestone for the company and the sector, as it secures the supply chain from the moment a mineral is mined, to the point at which it goes into technology, such as smartphones and electric vehicles.
The demand for minerals such as cobalt, copper, tin and tungsten has rapidly increased in line with the growing appetite for technology. Many minerals are sourced by artisanal miners, with 250-million people globally who depend on this informal industry, many of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Minexx CEO and co-founder Marcus Scaramanga says that mining 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.”
He adds that blockchain – the immutable digital ledger – has played a critical role in improving the traceability schemes.
Additionally, coupled with digital payments, blockchain brings the supply chain fully into the financial system, while delivering operational efficiencies to reduce the cost to market.
The Minexx blockchain platform, which has global application, enables trade and compliance – bringing benefits to miners, smelters, traders, technology companies and governments while directly impacting ten of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Minexx has a strategic partnership with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office as well as its Frontier Technologies Livestreaming Programme.
The project at mine sites in South Kivu, in the DRC, tested how cooperatives, team leaders and miners accept digital payments through the Minexx platform.
Miners are able to confirm the exchange of ore for income using mobile payment, ensuring miners get paid fairly and on time.
From January 1, the European Union (EU) brought in 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.
The regulations legally compel companies to carry out due diligence, effective as of January 1, 2021.
The EU regulation also aims to ensure that global, and EU, smelters and refiners source these minerals responsibly.
Scaramanga suggests that this is good for the miners at the top end of the supply chain as well as consumers at the other end.
In between, technology companies, along with smelters and refiners, can operate with more certainty about the integrity of their supply chains. Further, the more transactions flow through the financial system, the greater the ability of governments to tax said transactions.
Crucially, it also benefits the artisanal miners.
“The platform provides an all-round solution to the compromised clean technology transition, bringing traceability, transparency and trust,” he concludes.