MineHub & Contour driving digitisation in metals and mining
MineHub’s platform provides real-time visibility and collaboration of upstream and downstream supply chains, while Contour brings together banks, corporates and other ecosystem partners on a common, digital network for trade finance. Both MineHub and Contour are built on enterprise-grade blockchain technology.
Digital transformation is estimated to generate more than $320bn of value in the metals and mining industry over the next decade, including $77bn through integration of technologies such as Contour and MineHub that enable better data exchange amongst participants.
The partnership will enable trades on MineHub to flow seamlessly into the Contour network, where a digital Letter of Credit (LC) can be created using API connectivity. MineHub digitises the supply chain by allowing miners to capture mineral digital contracts with buyers and streamline post-trade operations, including document flow, financing, ESG reporting and logistics.
These trades can then be financed on Contour, which digitises traditional paper-based LC processes, improving transparency and reducing presentation time from up to two weeks to under 24 hours. The two firms also intend to roll out functionality that provides a time status on the progress of LCs within the MineHub platform.
Working together, MineHub and Contour will bring greater trust and transparency to fragmented metals and mining supply chains and trade finance processes, helping data flow across the world's trade routes, connecting buyers, sellers and their banks.
Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour commented: “Partnering with MineHub is a natural fit as we are both striving to make doing business across borders better and smarter, reducing time, cost and risk. We both use cutting-edge enterprise blockchain technology to deliver on this goal, and the combined power of our offerings will greatly improve how information is shared throughout the lifecycle of a transaction in the metals and mining industry.”
Arnoud Star Busmann, CEO at MineHub added: “The Contour network is an excellent service to the global trade industry. The combination is a perfect example how network and platform interoperability creates exponential benefits for our shared trade ecosystem. MineHub is focused on digitising the end-to-end post trade management of physical commodity transactions. By connecting the Contour network, this now also includes seamless access to trade finance instruments like LCs from a fast-growing group of global banks.”
Codelco partners with Microsoft to extend digitisation
Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, has announced a deal with tech giant Microsoft to fast-track the digitisation of its sprawling mining operations, helping it extend automation and improve analytics.
The joint project with Microsoft will beef up the company's capacity to make its production processes more efficient and promote "sustainability" within its operations, Codelco said in a statement.
Codelco, like many Chilean miners, has fought in recent years to adopt new technologies to boost efficiency and keep down costs at its aging deposits, many of which suffer from declining ore grades.
"We are promoting profound changes so that different areas operate in a completely remote and automated way, reducing risks, improving productivity, safety and reliability of our operation," said company executive Alvaro Garcia.
Mining companies worldwide are pushing forward with plans to operate mines remotely, reducing the risk of accidents and boosting efficiency.
Codelco’s move towards automation however has led to confrontations with unions, who see it as a threat to their livelihoods. The company said the project with Microsoft will include a training component for the its workers.
The state-run miner has recently ramped up its use of technology to ensure its copper is 100% traceable, a vital step in reducing its carbon footprint and boosting sustainability within its operations.
Codelco’s CEO Octavio Araneda said that tracing copper through its mines would help the company more precisely measure progress on its social and environmental goals while providing proof to increasingly demanding customers of those efforts.
“We can now say that 100% of our products are traced…which will allow us to have a very strong transparency regarding our resource use footprint,” Araneda said.
The announcement comes amid a broader push by the company to reduce water consumption, recycle industrial waste and scale back carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
Codelco said in a webinar that the tool it has developed to assure traceability will help assure those sustainability targets are met.
Soaring demand for electric vehicles, a key component in the global fight against climate change, has increased attention on the carbon footprint and sustainability of inputs such as copper, cobalt and lithium.