Aurubis AG uncovered a large-scale fraud in September involving shipments of scrap metal that it uses to feed its copper smelters, with potential losses running into hundreds of millions of euros.
A Canadian technology start-up with backing from the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) – the technology arm of the government – says it has developed a secure digital platform to create accountability and transparency within the supply chain.
Pointing out that the multi-trillion dollar commodities industry still primarily operates on physical paper and spreadsheets for its transactions, Alberta-based Daniola created a digital platform that connects metals buyers and sellers and vendors on a three-way marketplace.
The company, whose primary market is Africa, said it has developed a secure and end-to-end solution, enabling users to track the journey of minerals and metals, starting from the mine through to possession, ensuring the user has full knowledge of where the materials originated.
The platform, Daniola said, leverages real-time analytics and geo-mapping, enabling users to authenticate the credibility of suppliers and validate the quality of the materials that are being purchased.
In a massive digital blind spot, 50% of mining companies still rely on manual tools for supply chain visibility.
“People have now mastered how to talk about the problem without necessarily looking for a solution,” Clement Esene, Daniola chief operating officer told MINING.com, pointing out the industry’s growing fear of poorly negotiated deals and outright fraud.
“What we’re trying to do here is to use our platform to create a structure that provides transparency with a few that believe in ethical sourcing and globally competitive pricing – we’re bringing that alternative,” Esene said.
“There [are] a lot of dormant assets because there is a lack of funds or lack of the right documentation to move those assets from dormancy to production,” he said.
“We work with [companies] to show that they are verified and vetted, and confirm the ownership, connect asset owners with founders who can either collaborate in joint venture relationships or invest in those assets towards production and have those assets sold on our platform transparently.”
Founder and CEO Sinmi Adeoye-Esene said mining companies that list their products on the Daniola platform go through verifications, and then are able to exchange their commodities with the buyers and are connected with the service provider needed during operations.
“There’s a lot of conversations going on around critical minerals and some parts of the African regions on how do we formalize some of these transactions that are happening with trade and ensuring compliance,” Adeoye-Esene told MINING.com.
“When it comes to structuring right, that’s where our focus is — making sure as it moves from the mine to the market its transparent given the data that we collect and ensuring that we’re working with verified buyers and sellers,” she said.
“We’re focused on working with the early adopters to transform the future of the transactions that happen in the mining space… and watching those transactions as they fulfill those contracts so down the line it’s creating space for new players and more money on the table for these communities.”