Blockchain technologies could offer useful solutions to the mining industry of the future, but the digital transition should take into account the social consequences. This was the main message from the online round table organised by the EESC’s Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) on 14 December 2020.
“Mining companies which embraced the digital transition have improved their safety, sustainability, productivity and profits. Blockchain is the future of the industry, but its governance needs to be discussed. We also need to minimise the social and territorial imbalances brought about by the transformation of activities as part of the new Green Deal and circular economy,” said Pietro De Lotto, CCMI president.
This was echoed by CCMI member Hilde Van Laere: “Blockchain is at the heart of the digital transition and has the potential to transform businesses and the whole of society, not only the mining industry. It has changed every enterprise in every sector and has also transformed the context of mining. With its capacity to provide security and transparency in business transactions, as well as to record changes to documents and business agreements, blockchain technology has extremely useful applications in mining”.
A wide range of operational and institutional stakeholders joined the debate: the Swedish Mining Organisation, Minespider, Kamni Chain, IndustriALL Norway, the International Raw Materials Observatory, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Commission, and the European External Action Service (EEAS).
The webinar was part of the follow up work on opinion CCMI/176 on Digital Mining in Europe: New solutions for the sustainable production of raw materials, drawn up by Marian Krzaklewski and Hilde Van Laere, which the EESC adopted at its September plenary session. (mp)