Blockchain technology is changing the way in which enterprises interact with their clients. De Beers, an important Anglo-American company, will implement a mobile tracking app for miners located in Sierra Leone. In this way, the company explains that they will be able to track the diamonds from the source until it reaches the customer. One of the main benefits will be the increased user satisfaction.
De Beers Diamond Tracking Application
In order to have a better understanding of the diamond collection and all the value chain, from the source to the customer, De Beers has decided to implement blockchain technology to its business. The company will be working with a mobile tracking app that will be very useful for tracking how diamonds arrive at clients.
The pilot app is called Gemfair and the main intention is to target small-scale, licensed miners in Sierra Leone. The application will send a GPS localization where the gem was extracted and it will allow the record of the productive forces. An important point to mention is that it can be used offline and online. If there is no connection in the place where the workers will be extracting the diamonds, it would not be a problem for the application to continue working.
The application is at the center of a pilot project that aims to train miners to use the table and integrated software.
De Beers wrote in a statement the past Sunday:
“By providing a secure route to the market, offering fair prices and helping to raise standards, we hope to play a role in enhancing the prospects for those working in the sector.”
Moreover, the miners that will be participating in the pilot project will have to comply with different environmental standards and ensure that the work sites are free from violence. Checks for criminal records are not always carried out.
Why Is That Important?
The Diamond industry has been damaged by the fact that gems mined in war zones were sold to finance gang and warlord conflicts in different countries. Among the states involved in these conflicts, we find Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Joanne Lebert, executive director at IMPACT, an NGO that works for a management improvement of natural resources, commented:
“Companies need to carry out due diligence to demonstrate they are producing and trading to international standards. International standards have been set for mining policy, sourcing responsibly and for the identification and management of risks.”
At the moment, De Beers does not have any miners in Sierra Leone. It will be working with the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) NGO based in Ottawa. The main intention its to formalize small mining companies all around Africa aiming at expanding the sources of supply.
During an interview, Dorothee Gizenga, DDI executive director said:
“It is not just what we do for the miners. One is creation of awareness of their conditions, because what we try to do, being a multi-stakeholder platform, is to engage different entities into addressing the issues, because no single organization can do it alone.”
Blockchain Improves Enterprises
Blockchain technology is expanding among companies and businesses all over the world. There are many advantages of using distributed ledger technology. Bureaucratic processes can be reduced, public health can be improved, information can be safely stored, and more.
The most important industries working with this technology are the shipping, retail, financial and health industries. All of them have seen their efficiency grow, reduce costs, and improve products and services.
Just to put an example, Carrefour and JD.com, have implemented a blockchain system that allows them to track the source of the food that they sell to the customers. That reduces the probability of selling intoxicated food, and increases consumer’s confidence with the store. Just to put an example, several individuals have been intoxicated after eating meat because the local authorities couldn’t track an infected shipment.
And if that was not enough for JD, they’ve decided to launch an accelerator program that would allow blockchain technology companies to grow.
“Beginning in March, AI Catapult, which is part of JD’s AI program, will partner with innovative blockchain startups to build new businesses and create and test real-world applications of their technologies at scale,” reads a statement released by the company.
De Beers is one of the several companies that are working with this disruptive technology, and it is a trend that does not seem to stop. Those who invest in the technology before the others will be able to gain expertise and a deeper understanding of how they can improve their products and services.
Customers in the Diamond industry will be sure that the Diamonds have been collected following strict security standards. That may improve sales, increase trust among buyers, and create a better reputation for the company.
If the project proves out to be successful, then De Beers will integrate it with the diamond industry blockchain platform. This blockchain network is currently under development but it will increase the company’s efficiency and allow it to safely register all the important data it manages.
More Information About De Beers
The company has been founded in 1888 by Cecil Rhodes De Beers. At the moment, the company has revenues of $755 billion ZAR (6.1 billion dollars). The company operates in a wide variety of countries located in different continents, including Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada.
The mining industry has been hardly criticized by the movie “Blood Diamond”, that was released in 2006. The famous actor Leonardo Di Caprio work in the movie. Currently, the methods changed and these companies are compliant with international standards of safety and human rights.
Blockchain technology is the next step towards creating a more inclusive, secure, and profitable mining industry. With these investments, De Beers is becoming a leading company in the sector and paving the way for a better understanding of the technology.