RMR – Raw Material Radar
In recent years, ASM has been in the international headlines due to a lack of transparency and control, criminal activities, and disregard for fundamental human rights. Tantalum, a strategic mineral used in electronic industry and supper-alloys, is well-known in the mining sector: vibrant mining activities are developing in areas such as Maryland county (Liberia). However, up to 60% of the world's tantalum production is mined by poorly controlled, highly untransparent ASM activities. While several ongoing initiatives aim to address the origin and traceability of raw materials using different approaches, little technical advancement was done since these initiatives mostly rely on spot checks and due diligence. The recent, more restrictive EU regulations for importers (ie, the Conflict Minerals Regulation) and increased general awareness in the Western world demand innovative and robust methodologies to manage large mineral supply chains, including the upstream sector, thereby enabling full transparency and traceability. RMR consortium combines knowledge, expertise, and assets within 3 orthogonal domains (ie, internationally recognized best practices in African ASM management; ledger technologies based on blockchain for supply chain traceability; digitalization through IoT technologies) brought together by 3 different partners working in symbiosis (ECTerra; Minespider; FBK). The goal is the design, validation and delivery of a technically sound, cost-effective solution comprising battery-operated IoT devices endowed with sensors able to transact on a distributed ledger infrastructure autonomously blockchain-based smart contract capabilities allowing the digital translation of policy specifications and the delivery of verification tools also relying on the data transacted by the IoT devices. Thanks to this end-to-end solution, it will be possible for the supply chain partners to transact more efficiently in a transparent and trustless way from mining to the smelter.
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