Mining in Liberia. Image from Raw Material Radar.

The Raw Material Radar (RMR) Consortium has created a new software & hardware solution for tracking raw materials, aimed at promoting fairer and responsible ASM mining practices in Liberia and Western Africa.

The new RMR platform, funded by EIT Raw Materials, will combine blockchain and IoT technologies to automatically record and track minerals’ origin, ownership, and provenance and is planned to be further launched and commercialized in other markets in Africa and worldwide.

The RMR product will be composed of cost-effective IoT kits, including digitally connected weighing scales and tracking devices for material shipments. It will allow the automatic weighing of material delivery and recording of supplier’s material ownership directly on-site, the consortium said in a news release.

After assessing the quality of the product aggregated into a shipping barrel, the data will be digitized, and the container sealed with a connected tracking device. From that point onwards, the status and location of the barrel are constantly tracked until final delivery.

All information regarding the material collection and shipping processes is securely stored in a blockchain-based infrastructure. This solution allows independent third parties to transparently verify and certify adherence to predefined process standards and regulations, facilitating compliant access for the ASM to European markets, RMR said.

The RMR Consortium combines complementary experience in research and development, mining and technology of organizations including Fondazione Bruno Kessler research institute in Italy, which will serve as the coordinator for the RMR project through its OpenIoT Research Unit, ECTerra, an exploration and mining consultancy company specializing in mining project development from grassroots exploration to production and Minespider, a technology company offering a blockchain-based platform for tracking mineral supply chain data and creating more sustainable and transparent mineral supply chains.

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