IBM will use the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain platform to track supply chains for the metal mining industry. The company recently announced two separate projects for its abovementioned aim.

One of the two projects will seek to supervise the shipping of metals from a Mexico-based mine. IBM will work with Canadian company called MineHub Technologies, which tracks metal ore movement from Goldcorp’s Penasquito Mine based in Mexico. The blockchain system will allow the company to record the data regarding the ore it mines. Along with that, a certification that the metal was obtained using ethical and sustainable ways will also be provided, claims IBM.

The other project will be used for tracking cobalt being transported to a Ford Motor Company plant from a mine based in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The company aims at tracking the movement of an initial cobalt batch (1.5 ton) which will leave next month from a mine in Congo. This cobalt will be sent to China for refining and later, the package will go to a battery plant in South Korea, before finally arriving at the Ford plant in the US. The whole supply chain process that is five months long will be recorded using Hyperledger technology.

The project involves not only IBM and Ford but also Huayou Cobalt from China, LG Chem from South Korea and RCS Global. All the participants are expected to use the blockchain built by IBM on HyperLedger Fabric in order to record each step of the package’s supply chain.

RCS Global’s involvement is in one enthical aspect of the entire operation. Some mining companies in Congo have been accused by human rights groups such as Amnesty International of using child labor. RCS Global representatives inspect mines and physically tag shipments leaving the mines with barcodes. If there is any violation of ethical laws, the company immediately informs the receiving industry. In such a case, the industry is advised not to use such a shipment. Now, the management is expected to use blockchain technology for recording the supply chain to make it more transparent and immutable.

 

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