Dutch banking giant ING has joined a consortium, including IBM and mining tech firm MineHub, that is looking to tap blockchain technology in the high-value global mining and metals supply chain.
The partners say 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 between supply chain participants.
They aim to fix that by building a new offering on top of the IBM blockchain platform, using a shared ledger to create a single, real time view of transactions and data across the supply chain that can be seen by all permissioned participants.
ING says that this will reduce processes and approvals from weeks to a few hours and cut down the paper documentation needed for transport, finance, invoicing and payments.
The first use case will be built on the MineHub platform and will manage concentrate from a Mexican mine owned by Goldcorp throughout its path to market. ING's part in the process will see the use of smart contracts to streamline the provision of credit facilities.
Arnout van Heukelem, global head, metals and mining, ING, says: "As a global leader in banking in the metals and mining sector, we feel many of the operational challenges that our clients face. Blockchain has the potential to reduce or even overcome these, as shown by our pioneering work in energy with VAKT, in trade finance with Komgo and Voltron, and in the soft commodity sector."