COBC’s Mintrax is set to document conflict free cobalt mining
About 10% of the world’s cobalt supply is produced by artisanal miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Artisan mined cobalt can be a concern due to issues such as child labor. The London Metal Exchange has put forward plans to ban cobalt tainted by human rights abuses. The only way to do that is to track the cobalt source or origin.
Cobalt Blockchain Inc. (TSXV: COBC) (COBC) has 12 years of on-the-ground experience in the DRC. The Company is pursuing a conflict free cobalt mining and trading business in the DRC with local artisanal miners, while implementing a blockchain based platform to ensure traceability of conflict free minerals. COBC along with its partners have a proprietary blockchain based certification protocol called Mintrax™.
Mintrax (Mining tracker) will be piloted on COBC’s own cobalt operations within the DRC and will also explore the possibility of using Mintrax for other operations, for example, diamonds and gold that requires conflict free assurance. COBC has supply and off-take agreements for 40,000 tonnes per annum of cobalt concentrate, and is commissioning a cobalt hydroxide plant in the DRC.
A two front attack
COBC is focused on two fronts, to expand its metals trading business in the DRC and building a portfolio of the same conflict-free mineral properties. The expansion in the DRC is to address the growing global need for conflict free cobalt.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain technology enables distributed public ledgers that hold immutable data in a secure and encrypted way to ensure that transactions can never be altered. You can write onto a block, but never delete data that exists on that block. While Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies are the most popular examples of blockchain usage, blockchain is finding a broad range of uses. Data storage, financial transactions, real estate, asset management, and many more uses including tracking minerals source of origin.
Benchmarking using automated trust
The company’s aim is for the Mintrax™ blockchain platform to be the benchmark in “automated trust”. This will assure security and transparency of the certified record for ethically sourced minerals. The vision is to kick start not just a digital transformation of the mineral supply chain but an ethical transformation as well, all centered around the companies concept of automated trust based on their blockchain platform technology.
Cobalt will remain a key battery ingredient for decades
Cobalt has been shown to be a key metal for efficient energy storage, stability, and safety in batteries. Various research studies are in place to try and reduce the amount of cobalt needed, but no solution to reduce cobalt at its current usage will be in position for widespread use for at least a decade or longer. In the very near future Britain, France, India and Norway all want to exclude gas and diesel in favor of clean vehicle technology, and many other countries have electric car sales targets in place. For example, both France (2030) and Britain (2040) have introduced aggressive timelines to achieve this.
COBC’s plan is to supply future demand for cobalt from ethically sourced materials, all documented and certified under blockchain technology. As more and more companies seek to use ethically sourced cobalt and other conflict metals, the demand for COBC’s products will also increase.