Finboot, the company behind the enterprise-grade blockchain middleware MARCO, announces it has partnered with Minexx, a UK-based tech start-up solving the mineral sourcing problem faced by technology companies in an increasingly socially conscious and regulated world.
With demand for electronics and electric cars constantly increasing, technology companies are coming under growing pressure to prove to consumers and regulators that the metals they use in these products are ethically and responsibly sourced. For example, a significant proportion of the world’s supply of cobalt and tantalum, both used in smartphones, is produced by artisanal miners in African countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Mozambique, where regulations can be lax or non-existent.
Origin data from the mine site passes through seven stages from mine to manufacturer and can be changed along this journey, damaging its credibility. This is particularly problematic for EU and US companies, which are subject to legal requirements for traceability and responsible sourcing.
Minexx’s innovative MineSmart platform aims to address this issue by giving technology companies transparency on the mineral origin to avoid funding conflict or child labour, while also giving them the control to make contracts with the miners directly. In turn, the miners benefit from a fair price for their minerals and access to mining equipment and life-changing services, such as electricity and insurance.
Finboot’s MARCO is an enterprise-grade SaaS platform delivering blockchain capability simply and effectively within value and supply chains across the globe. By integrating this into its MineSmart platform, Minexx is now able to certify mineral production and tokenise the credentials, allowing these to be sent across the digital value chain to bring trust to the process.
Nish Kotecha, Chairman and Co-Founder of Finboot, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Minexx and supporting their mission of bringing ethical sustainability into the artisanal mining supply chain. The ability to verify products’ credentials and communicate these in an auditable, immutable and trusted way is blockchain’s core strength, and our innovative middleware solution MARCO can deliver these capabilities to the Minexx MineSmart platform. We look forward to working with the Minexx team as the business continues to grow and make a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Marcus Scaramanga, CEO and Founder of Minexx, commented: “Approximately one in eight people in sub-Saharan African countries is dependent upon artisanal mining, yet the industry is poorly regulated and often lacks transparency and fairness. By integrating Finboot’s MARCO technology into our MineSmart platform, we can now harness the power of blockchain to track and record mineral origin data securely. This mutually benefits both the artisanal miners who produce the materials and the technology companies that require them, and consequently we see a huge amount of growth potential in this market.”