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Pressure on costs in the minerals industry – the Blockchain as a response?

the It's a catch-mill for the minerals industry of Africa. Actually, the supported metals are in high demand, for example for the production of Smartphones.

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Pressure on costs in the minerals industry – the Blockchain as a response?
the It's a catch-mill for the minerals industry of Africa. Actually, the supported metals are in high demand, for example for the production of Smartphones. Want to sell mine operator of the mineral resources of their homeland, however, successfully on the international markets, it needs chains by law, the delivery, the warranty safe. The terms and conditions of such certificates as of the ITSCI, however, are getting more and more expensive; so expensive, that the first mine operator to alight from the process and, therefore, not only safe removal, but your business itself at risk. Blockchain-technologies could represent a way out of this apparent one-way street.

By David Barkhausen
9. January 2019TeilenFacebookTwitterLinkedInxingemail

The mine operators of the Congo, it is sufficient – although the Land is in the heart of Africa is one of the mineral-richest areas of the earth and its raw materials international is in hot demand. The pressure on costs seems to be the mineral industry, however, no choice: As Reuters reported this week, want to the SMB, the largest producer of mobile phone-metal Coltan in the Congo, get off from the international Initiative for supply chain security in the mineral industry ITSCI. The reason: The terms and conditions of the certificates are too expensive.

the mining giant complained in a letter to the Ministry of mines, you have "no other Chance, than to finish his business relationship with ITSCI", because you could no longer bear the "higher" cost.

the need for Kong is rising Congo of metals is steadily increasing. Because of Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops and TV screens of our technical devices is in need of almost every rare minerals such as cobalt, or silver, in order to function. The Problem: in ores snooze Packed the valuable materials, generally deep in the soil where they are degraded, often under inhumane conditions. Certification regime for supply chains, such as ITSCI to change this.

in 2010, launched the Initiative to guarantee clients such as Microsoft, Intel, and Boeing, that the mined minerals are free from conflicts, human rights violations or child labour.

The Problem:

the Only catch: The chains to monitor the delivery causes enormous costs. Already for a long time, the neighbors of the Congo, Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda, protest, therefore, against the high pressure that the warranty procedures.

"That ITSCI does not consider the cost of the tracing [of supply chain], is for us a big load,"

complains about Jean Malic Kalima, President of the Rwanda Mining Association.

However, while the cost pulls whose chain? plight of the African mineral industry, are the first answers in Rwanda already on the table. The mine operators tend already to be Distributed Ledger technologies (DLT). Start-ups cost-effective control ready solutions.

possible solution: the Blockchain-technology

In neighboring Rwanda about the use of a Blockchain-a platform for the removal of the metal tantalum is since last year in an interview. As the local newspaper The New Times reported, work of the British Blockchain Start-up Circulor on a DLT solution, in order to examine supply chains reliably.

As it should be, companies using the platform in the future, possible to mark your products digital. This manual registration and paper work are eliminated. Such Electronic markings, together with face detection and Geo-Tags to help the minerals on their journey from the removal of dust in refineries and the sale of track.

This is according to the Circulor-managing Director Douglas Johnson-Poensgen in addition to safety, especially in the foreground, to reduce the "disproportionate cost" the producers "dramatic."

another glimmer of hope is the EU-funded Start-up mine spider currently holds in the Hand. The Swiss-based company develops currently also Blockchain-Software, in order to maintain the integrity of supply chains. While mine takes a spider on the ground, treasures in your sights. The aim is according to the White Paper, especially, to prevent unethical business practices such as child labour and environmental pollution.

The logistics industry: Learn the model student?

The use of the Blockchain in the area of supply chains, however, is more than a mere mind game for individual firms to newcomers. Of successful DLT show-pilots in the logistics sector.

Should summarise the mineral producers and ITSCI a corresponding advance in the eye, you could rely on one hand on the groundwork of sizes, such as UPS, Maersk, or PIL, which protect the global trade routes, for example in the field of Container transportation with DLT.

on the Other hand, is likely to be worth the glance over the shoulder of the Luxembourg diamond producer De Beer. The company checks for about a year as the Blockchain its supply chains can secure. The goal is to ensure the conflict free origin of the diamonds.

conclusion: Wait and see

Whether or not a corresponding advance of the mineral industry at all, however, may currently be questionable. To the pressure of the mostly American buyers who insist on certificates such as the ITSCI-seal. The certificate of the industry should, however, continue to be the efficiency and, therefore, the ground under the feet, is likely to be a rethinking of the industry, however, inevitable.

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