CALGARY – The mining industry is important to Canada, as it is in many other countries. As with any big industry, new and better ways to streamline and innovate processes are always being considered. One potential innovator on the radar today is blockchain. Some may be surprised to learn that blockchain has a lot to offer beyond cryptocurrency applications. While the technology itself isn't simple, the benefits are quite straightforward in theory.
With blockchain, mining and metals companies may find compliance easier and less complicated. Companies that are focused on being socially responsible, handling increasingly technical developments to equipment, and improving their company's level of transparency may all benefit from blockchain due to how it can function in these environments. Simply put, blockchain can create a database immune to tampering that can be shared across with many companies or individuals simultaneously. Real-time transparency and record keeping on this scale is why so many industries are investigating uses of this technology in this manner.
Fewer Errors and Increased Safety
Companies can feel safe shipping materials and using blockchain to track them through the process, as there isn't any risk of paperwork being lost, damaged, or destroyed. Errors are greatly reduced, and the level of safety rises significantly. That's a winning combination for everyone involved in the process, from the company that first pulls the materials out of the ground to the end user who ultimately buys what was created from those materials.
While it's not perfect, blockchain is exceedingly close to being perfect – and the safety it offers to everyone using it is without parallel from any other options offered.
With end-to-end tracking that's comprehensive and virtual, there's an incredibly reduced need for all of the types of packaging and tagging that's now being used in the mining industry. That means a lot less waste at the end of the day. This can help companies stay viable in the future, and keep them moving forward as technology and sustainability continue to grow in business and consumer life.
Faster, Easier Transactions
With blockchain, it's faster and easier to get through transactions with smart contracts. It's also easier to adopt good practices and adapt to the ways in which they need to be changed. While it's not a guarantee that everything will be handled with speed and precision all the time, it does make getting things done efficiently much easier. Because of that, everyone in the chain will be notified as things ship, supplies come in, and if any other issues occur that they need to know about.
When looking toward the future of the mining industry and how blockchain may fit within it, there are still questions as to how this technology might be implemented most effectively. Overall, blockchain is highly secure and can offer an efficient and high-quality way to track the movement of materials from one place to another. This probably will not be an overnight change, but it is certainly a development worth keeping an eye on.
Justin Havre is a Calgary native and owner of Justin Havre & Associates.
Can you be more specific how this would work for a rock you pull out of the ground? Step by step to the refinery?