Posted 2 years ago | by Ben Armstrong
Blockchain Helps Bring New Ideas to Africa’s Mining Sector
Africa has some of the world’s largest mineral deposits. However, it’s a fact that the industrialization and development level in African countries is inadequate to fully extract the existing resources.
With the emergence of blockchain technology, mining activities in Africa are seeing an uptick in interest – despite the weak global economy. Problems in Africa’s mining industry arose from an ambiguous economic as well as political background, which has been problematic for the entire supply chain.
Governments have struggled to play a legitimate role in mining operations. Political unrest and armed riots also contribute to conflict minerals and raise obstacles for both local and national authorities.
Blockchain May Help – but it isn't Magic
In reality, one of the most serious issues that almost all African countries are facing is illegal mining, which leads to numerous consequences in the economy and society. Unlawful mining not only drains natural resources out of the boundaries of the nation, but also worsens the situation of slave labor and unethical working environments.
As a consequence, the gap between the wealthy and the poor is made more severe, making societal inequality and imbalance critical. Famine, diseases and other social issues are obvious and play a role in the lack of opportunities in Africa.
In such a complicated situation, blockchain and its applications, such as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) could be a solution for all the hardness. DLT could help by tracking the sources for metals and minerals, which would allow importers to ensure that the materials they buy are legal.
Real World Development
Rwanda is among the nations that are looking for new ways to ensure international compliance with mining laws. The nation has applied blockchain technology to monitor and track their Tantalum resources. The new technology allows government agencies to closely supervise the entire process, from each mining post to refining facilities.
In Burkina Faso, a private company called IAMGOLD Corporation is also looking for ways to adapt blockchain and DLT in their production process.
IAMGOLD has been cooperating with a California tech-based firm called Emtech to develop and adopt blockchain solutions in tracking their sources of gold mine. Hopefully, with the assistance from technology and the effort from importers, the mining industry in Africa can improve, and deliver better results.
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