Cobalt demand has grown by 21% between 2016 and 2018 and CRU forecasts that it will increase a further 55% out to 2023, due to the increasing uptake of electric vehicles.
Currently, the majority of the cobalt supply comes from the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) where, in addition to the large-scale global mining companies, artisanal miners utilise small pockets of land not owned by large-scale miners to produce cobalt.
It is believed that as many as 100,000 diggers, sorters and washers are involved in the artisanal mining trade in the DRC. Artisanal miners often work independently and sell their ore to local co-operatives, who sell it to local merchants and traders, who in turn sell to international traders. When done correctly, artisanal mining can be an ethical source of low-cost, high-grade cobalt which also puts income directly into the hands of locals with very few alternative options available to them. Artisanal mining in the DRC has increased dramatically between 2016 and 2018 on the back of strong demand growth and rising prices.
Artisanal mining has been key in satisfying skyrocketing cobalt demand in recent years. However, the practice raises many ethical concerns. Child labour is rampant in the artisanal mining sector, as many regions suffer from abject poverty and lack a functioning schooling system – in 2014, UNICEF estimated that 40,000 children were involved in artisanal mining of all commodities produced in the DRC. As a result, Western companies have sought to distance themselves from artisanal cobalt supply in the past to forego the risk of inadvertently using raw materials sourced from child labour. The low wealth generated by these practices has also come under scrutiny. Traders of artisanal cobalt concentrates will typically sell material for around 40-50% of its cobalt value, while the artisanal miners will typically only receive 1-3% of the intrinsic value of their ore. A lack of reliable information and the complexity of the supply chain makes artisanal mining far more challenging to track as a source of cobalt supply than traditional mining sources.
Can Blockchain provide a traceability solution?
Blockchain technology can increase transparency in mineral supply chains and provide a traceability solution, while reducing the need to have a one central owner of the database. A Blockchain system starts with a mine site audit to check there is no child labour. Once the audit is passed, the mines are given ‘approved bags’ with bar codes into which the ore is placed before sealing and being passed to merchants and traders. The bar codes can be scanned at any point, and the ore’s journey can be tracked on a public ledger which is where the Blockchain comes in.
Supply Chain Management Association Becomes Supply Chain Canada
At its AGM yesterday, the Supply Chain Management Association announced its name change to Supply Chain Canada. The association also launched a new website as part of an overall rebranding initiative.
“The new name and look are part of a transformation that we have undertaken as the association enters its second century,” said Christian Buhagiar, President & CEO of Supply Chain Canada. “Today’s supply chains are dynamic and fast-paced. The association for Canada’s supply chain professionals must reflect that.”
Through the rebranding process, the association has also acquired a meaningful new logo and tagline, “Professionals advancing the future.”
The logo’s maple leaf design not only conveys our nationality; it also represents the connectedness of the supply chain, illustrating the networks and collaboration that are so essential to supply chain success, and the interconnectedness of the association’s federation, institutes and members. Its connected dots can be seen, as well, as the complex route of a global supply chain.
“Professionals advancing the future” succinctly communicates both the professional status of supply chain practitioners and their forward-looking perspective. It is intended to:
- Elevate the perception of supply chain practitioners as professionals, acknowledging the value they bring to their organizations and to the Canadian economy.
- Encompass the several ways that the association and its members “advance” – in their personal careers and knowledge, and for the profession, the country and the economy.
- Express the future focus of the association – with its emphasis on the development of skills and policies – and of the supply chain itself, now so focused on AI, blockchain, robotics, automation and so on.
The new website, now at www.supplychaincanada.com, is enhanced with a modern look and new functionality that enables location-based content for users across Canada.
These changes are not simply style enhancements. They are part of a larger plan to strengthen the association. Supply Chain Canada consolidates the organization’s brand across the country under a single name in every province and territory, removing any possible confusion from its federation structure. “The unity that this will ensure will help us improve recognition in the sector, and thereby provide stronger leadership to the Canadian supply chain community,” said Buhagiar.
The association’s transformation began in 2018 with a new vision and mission, as well as an ambitious three-year strategic plan. The new name and rebranding announced yesterday are part of a larger evolution that will continue over the next two years with the introduction of new and revised educational offerings, new initiatives to engage with industry, more value-added membership benefits and more.
SOURCE Supply Chain Canada
Export Portal to Address Best Practices in Sustainable Trade Facilitation at the Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum
Export Portal CEO Ally Spinu will be adding her take on the alignment of trade facilitation and sustainable development goals at a session at the 9th Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) in New Delhi.
“The Asia-Pacific region is a wealth of unexplored opportunities which lay deep in the communities of local businessmen and women that just need support in bringing their amazing products to the world to see and buy,” Ms. Spinu said. “I am looking forward to this event and being a part of the change that will help local businesses from this part of the world sell their products globally. I deeply believe that shifting attention to developing SMEs is the major change international trade and local economies have been waiting for.”
This year’s APTFF will focus on how digital and sustainable trade facilitation measures and practices can bring prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum will investigate opportunities from trade digitalization for sustainable progress of the area and challenges ahead in materializing such opportunities. APTFF will feature panel discussions as well as interactive and informative sessions. These sessions will allow participants to share experiences and perspectives on different aspects of trade facilitation, including trade finance, cross-border eCommerce and paperless trade, transit, innovative application of emerging technologies, and more. APTFF will bring relevant regional initiatives and implementation cases to each session, making it a unique opportunity to share knowledge and practical lessons. The forum will also include many side-events providing a more in-depth exploration of the pertinent trade facilitation issues.
“Agricultural products are the fastest category and industry growing within Export Portal, and I can say that is just natural that SMEs around the world are actively looking for new ways for selling their products around the world,” Ms. Spinu said. “The role of innovative technologies such as Export Portal is crucial in helping these SMEs integrate within the world supply chain of food with ease and at optimal costs. I want to explain the current issues existing within SMEs’ integration in international trade due to the high cost involved and how technology slowly but surely changes this.”
Export Portal’s trade goals align directly with the purpose of this session, as its international B2B trade platform is an affordable and all-encompassing solution for SMEs all over the world. The features that are available and being developed on Export Portal, such as the panel of experts (EP+), the educational hub (EPU), and data flow insights (EPI), provide SMEs with the resources they need to trade effectively on an international scale safely, securely, and efficiently.
The Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation for Regional Prosperity session is co-organized by ADB, ESCAP, Ministry of Commerce, India and Confederation of Indian Industry and will be held on Wednesday, September 18, from 9:00 to 10:45 AM.
SOURCE Export Portal
Crypto.com Lists Lisk (LSK)
Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, announced today that it has listed Lisk (LSK) to its App. LSK joins a growing list of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins on the Crypto.com platform, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), XRP, TrueUSD (TUSD), PAXOS (PAX), and its own MCO and CRO Tokens.
With LSK added to the Crypto.com, users can now purchase it at true cost with no fees – credit card and bank transfer both supported. As Crypto.com also offers the MCO Visa Card, this adds additional utility to LSK as users can easily convert cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies and spend at over 40m merchants globally.
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