Blockchain technology can become a critical component to mineral provenance, knowing where it came from and how it was produced, said Lance Hooper, president of Cobalt Blockchain.

This technology is especially beneficial for cobalt miners operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which according to Hooper, contains 65% of the world’s cobalt production, but has a poor track record of human rights abuses.

”Because the cobalt/copper belt is in the south [of the DRC], there has been no requirement to date to implement a system whereby there are no kids working in the mines, there are no armed groups benefiting, there are no government actors imposing illegal taxes,” Hooper told Kitco News on the sidelines of the Miens & Money Conference in New York.

”So that’s what we’re doing, we’re taking the knowledge from the last three and a half years in these highly regulated minerals in Central Africa and applying it to cobalt in the south,” he said.

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