Metal Concentrates Exchange to Form Blockchain Consortium for Minerals Trading

Online physical commodities exchange Open Mineral is planning to build a consortium of mining companies and financial organizations to develop a blockchain-based mineral trading system, according to a press release July 9.

Switzerland-based Open Mineral has partnered with U.S. decentralized applications (DApp) developer ConsenSys to set up Minerac, a blockchain project focused on improving mineral trading and supply chain logistics.

The company explained the necessity of introducing blockchain to the industry, stating that “logistics are complex, financing is difficult to acquire and the entire process is very paper heavy.” As per the company, blockchain will “simplify the trading process, and increase efficiency and profitability”:

“Minerac will allow stakeholders to securely exchange critical trade documents, such as bills of lading and letters of credit, via the use of smart contracts.”

Open Mineral Chief Executive Boris Eykher said that the newly-formed consortium has already attracted some mining organizations and is carrying on negotiations with other miners and financial institutions, though he did not name them.

Minerac also aims to address sustainability and security problems in the mineral trade by creating a process wherein sealed bags and containers would be assigned an ID that is recorded in the Minerac system. Unique information pertaining to each individual parcel would be updated with location and delivery movement details. In this way, Minerac hopes to ensure the security of high-value minerals, and help validate that commodities are from conflict-free regions.

Blockchain has been widely integrated into supply chain and logistics in various fields. Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a blockchain-related patent application from Walmart for a “secure” delivery management system. The system involves delivery lockers that can keep cargo safe until purchasers are able sign for an collect them.

In June, Walmart and nine other companies partnered with IBM to develop a blockchain for tracking food supply globally. Members of the Food Trust blockchain include Nestlé SA, Dole Food Co., Driscoll’s Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and Unilever NV.

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