Tag Archives: MineHub Technologies

BHP, Minmetals trial MineHub’s blockchain platform for first cross-border copper concentrate shipment

MineHub Technologies says its MineHub platform has been used by BHP and China Minmetals in the first cross-border copper concentrate trial shipment processed on blockchain technology.

Arnoud Star Busmann, CEO at MineHub, said: “The MineHub platform has evolved significantly since BHP, the leading global resources company, completed the first iron ore transactions on it in 2020 with China Baowu. Now another industry-leading innovative company, China Minmetals, working with BHP has used our blockchain platform for secure and transparent inter-company and cross-border data sharing including multiple new use cases like emissions data sharing and a metals assay exchange process.

“We are very excited to complete this pilot transaction with these forward-looking partners. Designing and building with industry for industry is a continuous journey and fundamental to our success.”

At present, the settlement process of copper concentrates is lengthy and complex, suffers from high processing costs, complex pricing mechanisms and vulnerability to errors and fraud, according to MineHub. The information exchange between the two parties of trade execution relies largely on e-mail and paper transmission, involving many parties such as banks, commercial institutions, logistics providers and often government departments. Large numbers of commercial documents are produced as part of the process that need to be exchanged and verified.

As traded volumes of copper concentrate have doubled in recent years in the largest market China, market participants urgently need a safe, stable, efficient, and real-time data sharing system platform, according to MineHub.

“MineHub provides that solution, which has been created to support these complex cross-border commodity transactions,” the company said. “It enables operations teams in companies like BHP and Minmetals to collaborate with each other as well as their banks, service and logistics providers on the basis of shared, real-time data. Data privacy, integrity and control are secured by enterprise blockchain technology.”

The end-to-end post-trade process for this shipment between BHP and Minmetals was completed on the platform, and, according to the company, included the use of several MineHub innovations:

  • Blockchain-based assay exchange, including final assay determination;
  • Carbon emissions data sharing (Scope 1, 2 and 3); and
  • Using MineHub node hosted in mainland China to ensure local data residence.

This was the first transaction of its kind for copper concentrates, and the parties have agreed to continue working together to promote the development and deployment of efficient post-transaction process solutions, create a better customer experience and achieve transparency and tracking of carbon emissions reduction, MineHub said.

MineHub Platform ready for first blockchain transactions

MineHub Technologies says it has completed development of its technology platform to improve efficiency in trading operations and environmental and social governance (ESG) compliance in mining and metals supply chains.

The company has been working on this project in collaboration with IBM and leaders across the mining supply chain including ING Group, Wheaton Precious Metals, Ocean Partners USA, Kutcho Copper, Capstone Mining and White & Case LLP.

The MineHub Platform is now live, with initial usage and transactions with consortium members anticipated to commence within the next few weeks as well as the addition of new industry participants to the platform.

“MineHub’s first release offers comprehensive functionality that enables miners to capture mineral production and digital contracts with buyers, streamline the post-trade operations (including document flow), financing and logistics,” MineHub said.

The platform is aimed at a wide variety of company types and sizes including SME and large corporate miners, trading houses, financial institutions, alternative financiers, streamers, logistics companies and assayers, the company said. It can provide benefits across industry verticals including mineral concentrates, bulk metal and fertiliser, according to MineHub.

The company continued: “The $1.8 trillion global mining and metals market has traditionally suffered from inefficiencies due to manual, paper-based processes and a lack of transparency among supply chain participants. By digitising the supply chain, increasing levels of automation and providing greater traceability, MineHub Platform users are expected to be able to streamline their operations, improve profit margins and contribute to sustainable supply chains and responsible sourcing.”

Arnoud Star Busmann, CEO of MineHub, said delivering the MineHub platform on schedule would not have been possible without the support from all its partners and IBM.

“We are excited about having the first trades going through the platform in the coming weeks and from there start demonstrating the benefits of the solution, in particular the cost savings from streamlining operations, improving access to finance and enabling mineral provenance.”

The MineHub platform is built on the IBM Blockchain platform using the open-source Hyperledger Fabric standards. MineHub allows its customers to benefit from several innovations, according to the company, with the parties involved in selling, buying, delivering and paying for a cargo of minerals now able to collaborate securely in real-time, “working in an integrated cross-company workflow, sharing electronic information rather than couriering or emailing paper documents that are subject to interception, fraud and cyber threats”, MineHub said.

By providing an immutable record of transactions, MineHub is already helping its members streamline operations, improve key process efficiencies, and bring a new level of trust and transparency, according to Manish Chawla, General Managing Director, IBM Energy & Natural Resources.

“We anticipate considerable reduction in disputes on assays and logistics events by automating the capture of mineral provenance data,” he said. “This is an exciting advancement that will pave the way for traceability reporting as well.”

MineHub is expected to lead to transformative efficiencies, the company says, by:

  • Streamlining operations, automating coordination and bringing trust and transparency to the process;
  • Minimising the risk of document loss or delays;
  •  Integrating the banks and lenders more directly with their customers’ operations;
  • Helping to standardise, structure and digitalise marketing and trading administration, including contracts, trade confirmations, assays, letters of credit, logistics and shipping documents;
  • Reducing disputes on assays and logistics events;
  • Increased security through strong authentication of users and document origination, and reducing opportunities for bad actors;
  • Automating reporting for treasury, lenders, royalty-holders and streamers, with real-time visibility of the production output and receivables; and
  • Automating the capture of mineral provenance data, paving the way for traceability reporting and improving ESG compliance.