Berlin-based blockchain company RCS Global is delivering mine-to-market technology solutions to help fight against conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Not part of a blood-stained supply chain
On Oct.1, Reuters reported that government officials in the Societe Miniere de Bisunzu (SMB) mine in Congo are using blockchain technology to assure its clients that the minerals they purchase are not part of a blood-stained supply chain.
RCS Global started implementing its blockchain technology solutions at the beginning of 2019 — enabling SMB mine officials to digitally tag their minerals. RCS managing director Ferdinand Maubrey said:
“It allows purchasers of SMB material to be sure that it actually comes from that mine site and is not smuggled into the supply chain from other mines, as much as possible.”
Today, mines rely mostly on a paper-based certification system, which is prone to corruption. Maubrey said that the new RCS Global system helped prevent tainted minerals from being mixed with SMB’s clean and traceable minerals by creating new obstacles, adding:
“To use stolen tags, for example, a smuggler would also need to steal both the scanner and the laptop linked to it.”
Despite the fact that this is one step in the right direction, SMB chief executive Ben Mwangachuchu pointed out that digital systems can still be corrupted “if the government agents who tag bags conspire with smugglers to enter incorrect data from the outset.” He added:
“If they collude and say we are going to feed the information we want ... for our own benefit, you will never know.”
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