Aussie miner to use blockchain to trace shipments

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Aussie miner to use blockchain to trace shipments

Improves provenance tracking for rare earth minerals.

Rare earth metals miner Hastings Technology Metals wants to use blockchain technology in its supply chain platform to increase the transparency of minerals shipments “from mine to market”.

The company plans to develop an open, decentralised digital ledger for deployment throughout its operational network.

RFID tags, QR codes and “smart contracts” will accompany each shipment, allowing the source, ownership, quality and weight to be checked and tracked along the supply chain.

Additional information such as pricing, material composition, and transaction history (including the date, time and location of production) will also be included.

The company said the indelible nature of blockchain will also mean that the digital contracts can’t be tampered with.

Hastings said the implementation of blockchain technology will also allow speedier resolution of problems.

If a shipment goes missing or is damaged in transit, the ledger can be checked to see how it was managed at each stage of the supply chain process.

The technology could also help the company meet its social responsibility obligations under ISO 26000 by improving quality controls and transparency, the company said.

The new supply chain technology is to be implemented at the company's Yangibana mine and processing plant in Western Australia, which is still being developed.

Hastings executive chairman Charles Lew said the technology could be a "game changer" for current supply chain relationships.

He said it would be “meet the demands of ethical mining, environmental awareness and source of origin of the raw material”.

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