Open Mineral, ConsenSys to Build Blockchain Consortium of (Mineral) Mining Companies

Swiss-based Open Mineral, an online exchange platform for metal concentrates, wants to partner with blockchain-oriented firm ConsenSys to build a consortium for mining companies.

Cloud-based metal concentrates exchange Open Mineral intends to create a consortium of mining companies (not to be confused with Bitcoin or cryptocurrency mining) and financial firms to develop a blockchain platform for minerals logistics and trading.

The young Swiss-based company announced on Monday that it was collaborating with blockchain startup ConsenSys to develop Minerac, which is meant to streamline mineral trading and supply chain processes.

Open Mineral CEO Boris Eykher stated:

“Logistics are complex, financing is difficult to acquire and the entire process is very paper heavy.”

“Thus, the industry is primed for blockchain disruption to simplify the trading process, (and) increase efficiency and profitability,” he added.

Eykher stressed that ConsenSys, which relies on Ethereum blockchain, has relevant experience given its role in setting up a similar group in the oil industry and trade finance.

He revealed that several mining companies are already showing interest in the consortium, while other miners and financial firms are in talks to become members as well. However, he didn’t want to name any of them.

“Minerac will allow stakeholders to securely exchange critical trade documents, such as bills of lading and letters of credit, via the use of smart contracts,” the announcement reads.

Minerac will help minerals to be easily tracked throughout the supply chain, from mining to shipping, warehousing, and financing. According to the statement, sealed bags with minerals will have stamped IDs to easily monitor them and make sure they’re not originating from conflict zones.

Open Mineral was launched last week by a group of traders from Glencore, an Anglo-Swiss commodity trading and mining multinational based in Switzerland.

CEO Boris Eykher succinctly explained his company’s principles and mission in an interview to Thomson Reuters Labs

“Open Mineral is a B2B marketplace for direct trade of physical commodities between buyers and sellers as well as corresponding trade services. Our marketplace connects mines with smelters without an intermediary, providing powerful analytics and intuitive design to tender, negotiate, and execute the direct trade of metal concentrates, e.g. copper, zinc, lead, gold, and silver.”

Last month, we reported that New York-based ConsenSys partnered with fintech firm CapBridge, backed by the Singapore Exchange, to develop a blockchain-based exchange.