Finboot has partnered with UK-based startup Minexx to help certify mineral production and tokenise credentials for improved transparency across the supply chain.
The announcement will see Finboot’s enterprise-grade SaaS platform, MARCO, combine with Minexx’s MineSmart mineral sourcing platform.
Finboot said: “With demand for electronics and electric cars constantly increasing, technology companies are coming under growing pressure to prove to consumers and regulators that the metals they use in these products are ethically and responsibly sourced.”
The company said a significant proportion of the world’s supply of cobalt and tantalum, both used in smartphones, for example, is produced by artisanal miners in African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Mozambique, where regulations can be “lax or non-existent”.
“Origin data from the mine site passes through seven stages from mine to manufacturer and can be changed along this journey, damaging its credibility,” Finboot said. “This is particularly problematic for EU and US companies, which are subject to legal requirements for traceability and responsible sourcing.”
Minexx’s MineSmart platform aims to address this issue by giving technology companies transparency on the mineral origin to avoid funding conflict or child labour, while also giving them the control to make contracts with the miners directly. “In turn, the miners benefit from a fair price for their minerals and access to mining equipment and life-changing services, such as electricity and insurance,” Finboot said.
Finboot’s MARCO platform, meanwhile, delivers blockchain capability within value and supply chains across the globe.
“By integrating this into its MineSmart platform, Minexx is now able to certify mineral production and tokenise the credentials, allowing these to be sent across the digital value chain to bring trust to the process,” Finboot said.
Nish Kotecha, Chairman and Co-Founder of Finboot, said: “The ability to verify products’ credentials and communicate these in an auditable, immutable and trusted way is blockchain’s core strength, and our innovative middleware solution MARCO can deliver these capabilities to the Minexx MineSmart platform.”
Marcus Scaramanga, CEO and Founder of Minexx, said: “Approximately one in eight people in sub-Saharan African countries is dependent upon artisanal mining, yet the industry is poorly regulated and often lacks transparency and fairness.
“By integrating Finboot’s MARCO technology into our MineSmart platform, we can now harness the power of blockchain to track and record mineral origin data securely. This mutually benefits both the artisanal miners who produce the materials and the technology companies that require them, and consequently we see a huge amount of growth potential in this market.”