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Blockchain Tracking For Onsite Mining Processes & Resources

Improving the way resources are accounted for on mining sites

As blockchain technology starts to be implemented across the mining sector there are myriad benefits to be capitalised upon. The opportunities for environmental and ethical accountability that blockchain can deliver have been previously identified but further benefits are to be derived throughout mining’s onsite activities.

The blockchain is an immutable record of transactions that was first encountered as one of the two core technologies facilitating the bitcoin network. The other key technology was the decentralised ledger so that anyone could host the blockchain, strengthening the network through wider distribution. When the value of a live transparent network of transactions is implemented at a mine site there are major benefits in safety and efficiency to be gained. The key values are derived from reducing the volume of miscalculations because data becomes part of the blockchain it cannot be altered.

Mine sites are notoriously dangerous places as there are often large numbers of people and equipment onsite. The blockchain brings opportunities to track the movements of assets in real-time and share that information accurately across the network, improving safety.

Miners arriving at the site can have their identification entered onto the mine blockchain. All members who have access to that blockchain will be simultaneously aware of who is within the network. This knowledge can be used to track movements and in the event of an accident accurately identify which resources were involved.

The same is true for the efficiency of mining operations. Systems which are based on immutable information are inherently more robust. Such accountable data tracking opens up opportunities for granular and accurate analysis of processes, generating potential efficiencies. As usual, when technology can assist in saving money for operators either through efficiencies or in the potential reduction of injury payments it should be swiftly adopted.

Equally important for the safety of miners as well as the productivity of a mine site is the management of vehicles and goods. An immutable distributed ledger for the movement of vehicles and assets will augment and improve the value of existing satellite management systems. Mining vehicles are enormous and often operate in less than ideal conditions. Any opportunity to improve the accuracy of those systems can only improve safety on mine sites. The blockchain can help to ensure that the data regarding the movement of mine vehicles are accurately maintained across the network in real-time.

The production of OEM mining equipment also stands to benefit from blockchain technology. Mining equipment needs to operate in a high-performance environment and often comprises parts sourced from a variety of vendors. During a critical equipment failure, it is often only the OEM who has a full understanding of what parts came from which vendors. With blockchain technology, a miner trying to identify a part failure history can be given the right to see the relevant data for that particular part. This speeds up the process, improving both efficiency and safety.

This use of blockchain to manage mission-critical documentation can be extended to the wider documentation associated with mine sites. The exploration, estimation of resources, planning and design of mines all generate large amounts of important data. Keeping a record of this documentation on an internal blockchain can help to improve the mechanisms of custody and control throughout the process. A blockchain would also assist in maintaining the traceability of the estimation of resource reserves. Smart contracts could be used to reduce inaccuracies bringing associated confidence in stated resource reserves to the marketplace reducing the risks of speculation.

We can see that blockchain technology has the capacity to vastly improve the safety and efficiency of mining operations. From the management of data through to the movement of people and assets across a mine site, recording actions on a blockchain will improve both safety and efficiency. As the technology matures further uses for blockchain will become apparent and like other industries will be increasingly adopted across the mining process.

Enegra Group Ltd (LL15959) is a commodity trading company focused on resources in Southeast Asia. Equity in Enegra has been tokenised via the EGX security token. For enquires related to the purchase of EGX please contact support@enegragroup.com.



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Matthew Averay

Matthew Averay

Managing Director of Enegra Group Ltd, a commodity trading company based in South East Asia