Minespider deploying blockchain for sustainable mineral sourcing practice

Minespider has received EUR 180 000 funding as a part of the EIT RawMaterials Booster support in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The EIT RawMaterials Booster mobilised EUR 9.8 million to provide targeted support to 60 high-impact and growth potential start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs during the crisis.

The Booster grant will help Minespider develop OreSource, a due diligence product that helps mines and smelters capture key information that importers in the European Union need to comply with EU Conflict Mineral Regulation. The regulation, which comes into force in January 2021, requires EU importers of 3TG (tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold) to perform due diligence to determine whether their material comes from a conflict-affected or high-risk area.

We have met the Minespider team at an early stage through the EIT Jumpstarter initiative, and we are very happy to support them now accelerating the launch of their OreSource blockchain product for responsible minerals compliance.

Nora Groth, Business Development Manager at EIT RawMaterials

Some EIT RawMaterials partners have been validating the Minespider solution. With the additional funding and support from EIT RawMaterials Booster in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the team will be able to further accelerate the advancement of the blockchain infrastructure.

New templates and filters will allow supply chain participants to submit and structure data, which is key for proper due diligence and compliance with the EU Conflict Mineral Regulation. Additional pilots with industry players along the value chain will be performed during 2020. This will create trust and acceptance which is a pre-requisite for a huge awareness and communication campaign ahead. The target for a product launch is end of 2020 and the creation of >50 new jobs in the coming years envisaged.

European importers need to have better access to data to operate in this new regulatory environment. They require certain data to be included with the materials they purchase.

Nathan Williams, CEO and Founder of Minespider

Sustainable and responsible supply chain tracking

The OreSource product extends the capabilities of Minespider’s open, public blockchain protocol, which allows companies to track their raw material shipments, demonstrating where the materials come from and the conditions under which they were produced, the company says. This blockchain creates digital certificates that separate data into three different layers, depending on whether the data should be publicly visible, transparent between members of the same supply chain, or private between a company and their customer.

Minespider protocol allows their clients, including Volkswagen and Google, to share sensitive transparency information with their customers and other supply chain participants securely.

The OreSource app allows mines and smelters to provide information to distinguish their products from the rest of the market. Mines and smelters who use the app upload key data such as bills of lading, invoices, company policies, and third-party certifications, which are assembled into a digital certificate and linked along the supply chain. Companies importing material into Europe benefit from this information to conduct due diligence. This means they can view transport routes, analyse production site responsibility, and demonstrate a chain of custody for their raw materials.

OreSource will also offer analytical tools that allow material importers to identify potential conflict areas and other red flags, the company says, enabling them to ask further questions when needed and ensure all of their imports have been sourced responsibly.

The EU and other government agencies are spearheading a new global era of sustainable sourcing. OreSource will support these efforts by ensuring that key data from mineral producers is captured in a transparent manner, and communicated along the supply chain. We are moving away from a world of anonymous commodities, to one of the trusted products.

Nathan Williams, CEO and Founder of Minespider

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