Kolwezi, Berlin, Thursday 29th July 2022 - Congolese mining services company Sud South will implement Minespider’s traceability platform to track copper and cobalt from Artisanal and Small Scale Mines (ASM) in the DRC. The minerals will be tracked from the Lualaba province to the Musompo Trade Center, and then on to the end users. Sud South will run the trade center on behalf of the Congolese government and is fully committed to only sourcing responsibly-produced minerals. DR Congo is known for producing about 70% of global cobalt, 20% of which is sourced from ASM sites. Most Congolese cobalt is mined in the Lualaba province, part of the so-called Copper Belt, and is exported without any reliable documentation. This initiative is one of the first of its kind to provide provenance and compliance data in the region.
The implementation of the traceability system and Minespider’s platform will start in three steps: firstly, Sud South will document the receipt, storage, and payment of minerals on Minespider’s platform. During this initial phase, audits of the mine sites will be conducted, and the mine sites certified. In the next step, the traceability solution will be expanded to compliant mine sites, who can then document their shipments from the point of origin to the trade center. Lastly, shipments will be sent to their industry clients, with the documentation attached through Minespider’s Product Passports, thus enabling end-to-end traceability.
This unique approach to bottom-up traceability, designed in cooperation with the Center of Expertise in Evaluation and Certification (CEEC) (the DRC Government Agency in charge of mineral certification and traceability) is designed to deliver a blueprint that can be expanded to further mine sites and minerals. The aim is to empower the Congolese ASM sector and provide the market with much-coveted, responsibly-sourced minerals.
Minespider is a blockchain-based traceability platform empowering companies to create, capture, and communicate sustainability efforts along their supply chains. Their upstream clients, including Minsur and LuNa Smelter, create blockchain-secured digital IDs called digital Product Passports to track their material shipments downstream. These passports contain information such as provenance data, due diligence documents and carbon emissions data, and are a way of differentiating and adding value to commodities.
Minespider Founder & CEO Nathan Williams underlined the importance of this project: “Access to tracked responsibly-sourced metals is critical for the green transition. We are pleased to be working with Sud South to implement traceability and ensure that the industry has access to responsibly sourced cobalt - a rare instance in the market. We hope our approach will be a blueprint that other sites and materials can replicate.”
Sud South is a 100% Congolese owned startup company that developed an integrated solution for the ASM sector covering logistics, IT, traceability, and certification services. With a broad network of partners, both in the DRC and internationally, the company plans to expand their operational footprint and replicate this responsible sourcing approach across the region.
Sud South’s CEO Eddy Kioni states that, “In a context of global energy transition, the partnership between Minespider and Sud South, supported by the Congolese government, is a recognition that the D.R. Congo supports efforts aiming to develop its mining potential in the artisanal and small-scale sector, focused on critical minerals, with the ambition of capturing more sustainable value from a promising market for the coming decades. Our ambition is to establish a model that can be extended at national and regional level which would include other critical minerals in the future.”