The mining industry as a whole has reached a tipping point in recent years and it’s being called to change from consumers and regulators alike.
Why now you might wonder? Well quite simply it’s all down to trends. Conscious consumerism is on the rise, meaning buyers want to know that what they are buying isn’t harming anyone involved, be it people or the environment.
Furthermore, mining is an industry that has been plagued with corruption and criminal activity for many years, making the task of regulation very difficult. It’s such activity in a number of industries that is pushing for the trend of transparency. Being able to see proof of compliance across the entire industry supply chain is such an advantage to regulatory bodies such as the LBMA and the OECD and that’s precisely why blockchain is a perfect solution; enabling end to end full transparency and traceability.
One of the biggest initiatives have come from jewellers like Cartier pushing for ethically sourced gold that they can guarantee arrived to their stores safely. The trendy word for this is proof of providence. In fact, did you know that nearly 70% of all gold is being refined in Switzerland, but the majority of the time it’s very unclear as to where that gold was actually mined. This is the biggest problem the mining supply chain faces; the political winds in the sails of one country do not always match that of the next, and in such a global industry there is often not enough power to change the direction of the entire fleet. Again, this is where blockchain comes in, as a system that is immutable it ensures the secure management, tracing, and tracking of critical data throughout the precious metals supply chain.
Some of the biggest environmental and human rights violations are becoming increasingly apparent to consumers. Ones like the water pollution produced by mines. Dumping waste in rivers and streams has serious adverse effects on all life, be it aquatic, land animals or the people living in local villages that are affected. Furthermore the treatment of workers, including children, laboring in unregulated mines is still a big issue in many parts of the world.
Clean mining involves technologies, practices, and mine processes that are implemented in order to reduce environmental and humanitarian impacts. This involves everything from the extraction and processing of metals and minerals to the shipment and selling of them. The three most important initiatives in revolutionizing mining in a clean and green way include:
Social Responsibility: Social Responsibility has to be the first consideration when talking about what it means to create clean mining practices. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is an area that is an excellent example of where the industry can do better in its production practices. It has been a massive supplier of precious metals for a long time now, and the local villages surrounding the mines began suffering from this. The mining facilities have exploited the areas and communities by trapping tens of thousands of people into a small space. If they want to leave, they have to pay armed guards a fee, all goods are heavily taxed and armed guards control the transport of all items. Undesirable social consequences include exploitation, forced prostitution, and child labor.
Eco-Friendly Practices: Environmental conditions change wildly with no human impact as it is, so toss in giant precious metal refineries and equipment that has been only marginally improved within the last century into the mix and it is a recipe for disaster. Drainage, runoff, emissions — these all create toxic environmental conditions for the local villages, as well as causing harmful footprints on the larger scale around the globe. Companies like Eco Metals Recovery are leading the charge in this area with technology that is reducing the energy of the mining industry by incredible amounts with new equipment and methods. Choosing to develop plans that are chemical-free and adaptable help reduce water and electricity input which are significant costs, as well as reducing the environmental remediation cost and time, which creates a better bottom-line and incentive to implement change.
Tech Solutions: Blockchain is one of the most crucial technologies driving the clean mining initiatives in the precious metals industry at-large. Blockchain is providing the opportunity, for the first time, to create fully transparent and responsible supply chain parameters that are secure, stable, and socially responsible. Karuschain’s platform uses this technology to provide a tracing and tracking solution for the precious metal industry. Enabling upstream producers to track precious metals as it travels upstream from its point of extraction, while also enabling tracing back, to the source of the precious metals. It finally sees end-to-end transparency in a supply chain that has never, in its history, been able to keep an honest and accurate accounting of its production pathways.
The identification of these key pain points within the precious metals industry is what lead the team behind Karuschain to build its enterprise blockchain solution. By looking at all the points in the supply chain where the precious metals must be tracked Karuschain is able to solve pressing environmental, and industry compliance issues.
Inspired to solve these critical issues facing the mining industry, Richard Verkley, CEO of Karuschain assembled a group of incredible industry professionals; former CFOs, major mining and concession operators, engineers and some of the brightest blockchain system architects.
With their expertise Karuschain has developed a blockchain solution for the metals and mining industry that will track gold and other precious metals from provenance all the way through the supply chain, from the mining to refiners, and to the trading process of precious metals, through buyers and brokers until it reaches the consumer.
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Karuschain is a blockchain technology platform for the precious metals mining industry, giving mining companies a powerful tool to safeguard human rights, reduce risks and improve environmental regulations in their supply chain.
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