IBM-Backed Blockchain Platform to Improve Supply Chain Management in Mining Industry

IBM’s new partnership is aimed at supply chain management in the mining and metals industry, looking to improve logistics, financing, and cost-saving.

Major tech firm IBM has partnered with MineHub Technologies to deliver a blockchain solution that will improve supply chain management in the mining and metals industry. IBM announced the initiative in a press release published Jan. 16.

MineHub is a company that uses technologies including blockchain to develop cost-saving applications for the metals and mining industry. The newly announced mining supply chain platform will be built on the cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform powered by the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric.

The solution targets the inefficiencies of the global mining and metal market — which is estimated at $1.8 trillion. These include excessive paperwork, manual data processing, and lack of transparency between supply chain parties. It will reportedly also be designed to improve logistics and financing, as well as reduce costs.

The companies envision the digitization of the supply chain via the creation of a ledger shared between the parties that will provide an aggregated, real-time view of transactions and data flowing through the supply chain, and will only be open to permissioned participants.

It will “increase the level of automation, reduce reliance on intermediaries and increase the speed at which goods are transferred from miners to end buyers,” the release further suggests.

The development of the platform will also be supported by such companies as gold producer Goldcorp Inc., ING Bank, mineral exploration company Kutcho Copper Corp., trading firm Ocean Partners USA Inc., and precious metals streaming company Wheaton Precious Metals Corp., representing a consortium formed by MineHub.

The first use case will reportedly be built on the MineHub platform, managing concentrate from Goldcorp’s Penasquito Mine located in Mexico on its way through the market. When ore is mined, the mining company will upload the relevant data, including sustainability and ethical practices.

Earlier today, Cointelegraph reported that IBM will use its IBM Blockchain Platform to monitor supplies of cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo in collaboration with motor company Ford, South Korean cathode producer LG Chem and China’s Huayou Cobalt.

In September, Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook has reportedly put records of some of its diamonds on a distributed leger developed by blockchain startup Everledger and secured by the IBM Blockchain Platform. This will reportedly enable the retailer’s customers to ascertain the origin and authenticity of gems sold in its T Mark-branded stores.

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