Rwanda Adopts Blockchain Technology to Combat Conflict Mining of Tantalum


The Rwandan Government is partnering with Circulor to track the mining and supply of tantalum using blockchain technology.  Tantalum used in the production of capacitors found in electronic products like laptops and mobile phones,  is one of the four commonly mined conflict metals. Rwanda is reportedly the largest producer of the metal.

Combating Conflict Mining with Blockchain Technology.

According to a publication on Circulor’s website, the project is live and will help track the supply of tantalum from mines in Rwanda to final consumers. The CEO of the Rwandan Mining, Petroleum and Gas Board announced the project at a meeting of the country’s mining association.

Speaking on the project, the CEO of the mining board who is also a Government Minister said the following:

Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board today has been introduced to a new and innovative mineral traceability solution using blockchain technology. The initiative is already being implemented by at least one exporter from Rwanda.

Using blockchain technology and smart contracts, the Circulor platform will improve transparency in the supply chain, and allow companies to trace the metal even in intermediate processed form. The platform built on Hyperledger Fabric (an open source enterprise solution hosted by the Linux Foundation), will use smart contracts to verify events and transactions.

PRG Resources, a mining company ran a test of the system to tag and trace tantalum mined in Rwanda passing through its supply chain. The mining company is now using the platform according to the announcement.

Consequently, as the world’s largest producer of Tantalum, Rwanda is using this initiative to secure its place in the global supply chain by complying with international efforts to eliminate conflict mining.

Blockchain in the Mining Industry

Beyond powering bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain has found application in the mining industry. There is an ever-present call to eradicate the supply of conflict mined minerals and metals to the global market. Some companies are relying on decentralized technology as a monitoring system to trace provenance and maintain the supply of legally mined resources.

EWN previously reported about EmTech’s blockchain powered supply chain platform that tracks gold, from the mine to a storage facility. The company created a blockchain solution that ensures the supply of ethically mined gold to its clients.

However, some blockchain critics maintain that the technology is not infallible since it is reliant on the data fed into it. So, will blockchain live up to its growing hype in the mining industry?

Image courtesy of Wikipedia



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