The government of Rwanda has partnered with Circulor Blockchain to achieve traceability and provenance of precious metals used in consumer electronics.
According to Francis Gatare, the CEO of the Rwandan Mining, Petroleum and Gas Board, Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board based on this initiative becomes introduced to a new and innovative mineral traceability solution using blockchain technology.
Gatare who also doubles as a minister in the Rwandan government also noted that the initiative is already being implemented by at least one exporter from Rwanda.
The major mineral resource targeted with this initiative is tantalum, a precious metal that is widely used by manufacturers of consumer electronics such as smartphones and computers.
According to a press release by Circulor, the initiative will offer participating companies the opportunity be able to use Circulor’s platform to tag and trace tantalum mined in Rwanda as it passes through the supply chain. With reference to Gatare’s observation as mentioned above, PRG Resources who are in Apple’s supply chain as a producer of tantalum are already making use ot the network.
“Circulor’s technology will bring greater transparency to the tantalum supply chain. Our blockchain platform will empower consumers to understand where the materials in the products they buy come from and also make it harder for materials that are not ethically sourced to pass through the supply chain. It will also dramatically reduce costs for miners who current shoulder a disproportionate share of the cost of compliance”, says Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, CEO of Circulor.
This blockchain initiative by the government of Rwanda in partnership with Circulor is also targeted towards the elimination of conflict minerals from the supply chain. This is necessary considering the history of Rwanda’s crisis and the role of illegal mining during the war. As the nation continues its rebuilding process, emerging technologies are finding friendly welcome in the East African country.
The announcement by Circulor also explains that the platform is built on Hyperledger Fabric, the open source enterprise-grade private permissioned ledger code developed in a global collaboration, hosted by The Linux Foundation.
Rwanda remains the leading producer of tantalum, making it a major stakeholder in the global production of consumer electronics. By leveraging blockchain technology, the supply chain is expected to be cleansed from illegal mining activities, thereby helping the country maximize the benefits of its natural resources while consumers can also be certain of the source and quality of their purchases.