IPP&T Magazine Online

Mineral supply chain undergoes a transformation

April 3, 2018  

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Cobalt Blockchain Inc. and DLT Labs Inc. are establishing a joint venture to provide secure, traceable and transparent methods for tracking and certifying the provenance of metals and minerals, through the entire supply chain from source to end-user.

Leveraging the expertise of COBC, and DLT’s supply chain and logistics product DL Asset Track, the joint venture will develop and deploy a new enterprise-grade platform based on international blockchain standards.

“This initiative is a significant milestone in ensuring the supply and use of conflict-free minerals, and will have an enduring and positive impact on our industry,” said Lance Hooper, President and Chief Operating Officer at COBC. “The combination of COBC’s mining and metals trading, conflict-free certification experience, and DLT’s innovative and enterprise-grade blockchain capabilities, signal an ability to automate trust within the minerals and metals supply chain.”

The new platform will be specifically designed for companies trading in base and precious minerals, including cobalt, gold, and diamonds, and addresses the growing need for complete transparency in the movement of minerals and metals, especially where conflict-free certification is important.


The new platform will be selectively piloted prior to being offered on a commercial basis, beginning with COBC’s recently-announced cobalt assets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

COBC’s business is to provide conflict-free cobalt to address the demand for advanced batteries in smartphones and electric vehicles, tracked via a blockchain-based platform, providing transparency and immutability of the certification record.

COBC has 12 years of on-the-ground experience, and holds licenses for 3T (tin, tungsten, tantalum) conflict-free metals, in the DRC. The company recently announced two definitive agreements for cobalt/copper concessions in proximity of active artisanal and small-scale (ASM) copper/cobalt mining in the DRC, totalling over 48 square kilometres.

COBC has also signed letters of intent and is working towards definitive agreements for several other mineral concessions in addition to exclusive supply agreements with local mining cooperatives.

More than 12 per cent of global cobalt production currently originates from ASM operations in the DRC and the announced joint venture represents a significant step forward in COBC’s goals of delivering certified, ethically-sourced cobalt to the market in the near-term.

Trading partners from ASM sources to smelters to automotive partners can collaborate and establish a shared view of end-to-end transactions without compromising confidential details or privacy.

“Companies and consumers demand assurances that the minerals and metals in their products are conflict-free. We now have the technology and tools to protect workers and prevent abhorrent labor practices so there is no excuse to support bad actors”, said Loudon Owen, Chairman and CEO of DLT. “We are excited to partner with COBC, with their vast experience and deep domain expertise, to ensure supply chain transparency and the ethical sourcing of minerals.”

DLT is best known for its Distributed Ledger Technology, which enable an immutable record of the transactions in the supply ecosystem, allowing permissioned parties real-time access to secure and trusted data.

Blockchain technology is ideally suited for application to a large network of partners.

(Cobalt Blockchain Inc.)