Tech Giant, IBM along with RCS Global Group's, Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN) announced on 5th November that their noble initiative to end exploitative mining practices has successfully completed a pilot project.
The companies, Ford, Volkswagon, LG, and Volvo have sent 1.5 tons of Congolese cobalt across three different continents over five months of refinement. They are hoping that the project will be up and running in spring 2020.
RCS Global Group, the solution’s auditors, testified that the pilot cobalt met Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) sourcing standards from its start in a Congolese mine. South Korea helped in refining the cobalt to ultimately reach an American Ford Motor Company plant. Korea's LG Chem developed the batteries in which the cobalt components make up some 10 to 20 percent of the Lithium-ion batteries.
With blockchain technology, we can take the next step in ensuring full traceability of our supply chain and minimizing any related risks, in close collaboration with our suppliers - Martina Buchhauser, Volvo's head of procurement
She stressed the fact that Volvo has always been adamant about ethical mining, and this is one step closer to that. Dr. Nicholas Garrett, CEO of RCS Global Group said in a statement, "We’ve reached significant new milestones as we’ve moved beyond testing, proving the merits of this coupled technology and assurance model can extend to a wide range of participants across every tier of the supply chain and to other minerals."
He seems hopeful about the fact that the global ethical supply chain will improve through the RSBN and the lessons learned through that will eventually help with their further progress.
RSBN plans to add more battery minerals to its tracking platform, including lithium and nickel. Then it will research ways to trace tungsten, tantalum, tin, and gold. Garrett and his team are working towards making a positive social impact on mining through the work they are doing.