Last month we were invited to contribute to the UK's Critical Minerals Association (CMA) 'A Blueprint for Responsible Sourcing of Critical Minerals' paper, which outlines the challenges and opportunities for the UK to be a world leader in mining and sourcing critical minerals responsibly.
This paper intends to help navigate the complex landscape of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in mining. The CMA presents a number of recommendations for the UK Government to consider what measures it could take to ensure that critical minerals are sourced in a responsible way.
COMBINING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY WITH SCIENTIFIC PROVENANCE VERIFICATION
Our contribution to the paper was explaining the importance of integrating scientific provenance verification into a wider traceability solution. Where this is often seen as the domain for digital solutions, SCI makes the case for proven and robust scientific methodology capable of discrete origin verification of mined minerals.
Policymakers around the world are coming to terms with the fragile nature and risks to our critical and strategic mineral supply chains. As we move to build further local capacity to manage a number of these risks, we must also go about resetting expectations around the transparency and integrity of these supply chains.
We need to look at how we mediate transparency within these critical supply chains and ask questions about where materials and products have come from and how they have been made. We need a strategy that looks to leverage the power of unique identification and information sharing within a supply chain and bring together technologies that can mediate and verify this information.
There is an opportunity for the UK Government to invest in the creation of a national standard for the critical and strategic minerals supply chain that utilises existing and proven technologies that can collaboratively deliver a trusted traceability program. Through blockchain technology, we can offer a communication channel for key provenance and ESG information to customers. This information is underpinned by an independent provider of scientific provenance verification that verifies the origin of raw materials (physical samples) entering the supply chain.
This combined solution would allow the UK to drive global change across the critical and strategic minerals sector and establish a world-first collaboration of technologies that ensure greater transparency and integrity within a secure and trusted UK supply chain.