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Mining industry’ adoption of blockchain not a question of if, but when — report

By cutting out paper, improving tracking and allowing data sharing, blockchain is set to revolutionize mining as we know it. (Image: Autonomous truck at Rio Tinto's
Pilbara operations Rio Tinto | Flickr.
)

Blockchain technology and the smart contracts it enables are the next step in the evolution of the mining and metals global supply chain, according to a paper published Thursday by global law firm White & Case.

The industry’s adoption of the technology behind cryptocurrency Bitcoin, viewed by many as a solution to trade and settlement inefficiencies, is a matter of “when, not if” says Rebecca Campbell, one of the authors of the paper and White & Case’s partner.

“With today’s pressured margins, inflationary costs and murmurs that the hard-won productivity gains of recent times may be eroding mining companies are looking for ways to improve efficiencies,” Campbell says.

The platform could also help miners to increase market transparency and reduce the risk of fraud.

Blockchain’s role in the green energy space and broader sustainable and transparent supply chains could be a game-changer, the reports says, thanks to its ability to promote trackability, transparency and security.

This type of distributed ledger technology (DLT) uses a shared database that updates in real-time and can process and settle transactions in minutes without the need for third-party verification.

Blockchain’s role in the green energy space and broader sustainable and transparent supply chains could be a game-changer.

There already are some examples of the use of blockchain in the mining industry, with world’s No. 1 diamond producer by value De Beers testing a recently developed platform that allows to tracks gemstones throughout the entire value chain — from mine to buyer.

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