Rwanda has introduced blockchain technology to track the supply chain of metal tantalum in the country via its partnership with Circulor. This is aimed at addressing the concerns of conflict minerals in the global market.
Blockchain Tech To Track Tantalum Production
Rwanda’s government is introducing blockchain technology to record the provenance of metals used in consumers electronic, as announced by Francis Gatare, the CEO of the Rwandan Mining, Petroleum and Gas Board and who is also a Rwandan Government minister, at a meeting of the Rwandan Mining Association.
Gatare noted that Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board had been introduced to a new innovative mineral traceability solution, using the blockchain technology. He further stated that the solution is already in use by at least one exporter from Rwanda.
The project has seen the government of Rwanda and London-based startup Circulor strike a partnership. Circulor offers a supply chain tracking solution, built on Hyperledger Fabric developed in global collaboration, hosted by The Linux Foundation. The smart contract will aid the supply chain to verify each transaction or event that is posted.
Circulor will not only be assisting miners in Rwanda to adhere to strict guidelines provided in international agreement to remove conflict minerals from a supply chain, but it will also put on record all the production stages before a computer or smartphone reaches a consumer.
The mining company, PRG Resources, who are in Apple’s supply chain as a producer of tantalum, ran the pilot and are presently using the production system. Companies can trace metal even as it is processed into intermediate products and mixed with other raw materials.
Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, Circulor CEO, notes that the Circulor’s technology will bring greater transparency to the tantalum supply chain. Douglas further stated that the firm’s blockchain would empower consumers to understand where the materials in the product they buy come from and also make it difficult for materials that are not ethically sourced to pass through the supply chain. Also, he stated that would dramatically reduce costs for miners who shoulder a disproportionate share of the cost of compliance presently.
Rwanda is one of the major sources of tantalum in the world, contributing half of the world’s tantalum in 2014 according to Science Journal Nature.
Blockchain Tracking of the Supply Chain
Blockchain use for provenance and supply chain in the mining industry is gaining ground as De Beers carried out a blockchain trial tracking diamonds from mine to retail in May.
Also, China’s ZhongAn Technology launched a gem-tracking blockchain application in August. This was aimed at achieving a higher level of traceability in the luxury industry.