The World Economic Forum is partnering with seven mining and metals companies on responsible sourcing with Blockchain technology. The partnership aims to experiment, design, and deploy Blockchain technology solutions that will improve and accelerate responsible sourcing. 

The Mining and Metals Blockchain initiative allows these companies to pool resources together to address the lack of standardisation and improve efficiency. As a result, they will achieve increase time-to-market, and enhance trust across the industry. 

However, none of the seven companies can effectively achieve this alone. Consequently, the World Economic Forum partnership is a match made in heaven for them to thrive. 

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Furthermore, the partnership will look to develop a joint Proof of Concept (PoC) that permits an inclusive Blockchain platform. Although the collaboration is to enable responsible sourcing with Blockchain, the companies additionally intend to promote cooperation across the mining industry. 

This initiative could promote efficiency, transparency, and improve the reporting of carbon emissions, but the full impact is enormous. 

Until now, most of the Blockchain projects that supported responsible sourcing have been bilateral and have yielded fractured outcomes. 

As a result, the ecosystem lacks interoperability. Nevertheless, the initiative is wholly owned and controlled by the industry, and the members of the project will x-ray all issues relating to governance. 

They will moreover create and develop case studies and form a working group that will suit them. Some of the critical areas of collaboration and development might include supply chain transparency and carbon emissions tracking. 

Blockchain will be used to increase trust between upstream and downstream partners as well as addressing constraints in the industry.

The Role of The World Economic Forum In The Partnership

The World Economic Forum on their part will provide technical support and assistance to the project. That will include availing its platform and expertise to help the industry leaders to understand better the potentials embedded in Blockchain technology. 

 According to Jorgen Sandstrom, the Head of the Mining and Metals Industry, World Economic Forum, material value chains are undergoing great change and significant disruption.

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However, there is an immediate need for the industry to respond to the increasing demands of minerals and materials. So, the World Economic Forum is the table upon which the seven mining and metal companies herein, conduct their business. 

Nadia Hewett, the World Economic Forum Blockchain Project Lead, said that “the distributed nature of Blockchain technology makes it the ultimate networked technology on the planet at the moment.”

The World Economic Forum’s Blockchain Policy Guidance

The WEF released a publication about the Blockchain value framework guide. In the report, the WEF urged global businesses to invest time in understanding Blockchain technology and the need to identify incentives and account for potential risks. 

They went further to advise that businesses should align their implementation with strategic priorities. Therefore, WEF at the end of May, released a statement about the formation of a six independent Fourth Industrial Revolution councils to work on new technology and policy guidance.

Some of the bilateral Blockchain projects in the mining and metals sector include, but not limited to, Tracr pilot for De Beer and Alrosa in Russia.

The Partnership Composition 

This new Blockchain technology initiative will involve companies such as Tata Steel, Antofagasta Mineral, Eurasian Resources Group Sarl, Glencore, Klockner & Co, Minsur SA, and De beers (Tracr). This group hopes to tackle inefficiencies and lack of interoperability in the mining sector. 

Leveraging Blockchain to reduce emissions and conserving the environment is central to achieving a carbon-neutral future. The potentials of Blockchain technology are endless, and there is no doubt industries will significantly utilise it in the coming years. 

It is evident that this disruptive technology goes beyond the creation of Cryptocurrency, and therefore needs maximisation.

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