Mineral supply chain tech company Minexx has exported the first kilo of gold tracked through a blockchain-based platform from Burkina Faso.
The company said its blockchain-based platform is designed to improve supply chain security and traceability, which it believes enables "banks, logistics providers, buyers and international financiers to engage with the sector."
Marcus Scaramanga, chief executive officer and co-founder of Minexx, said extracting critical minerals would become increasingly important as the world cuts carbon emissions.
This demand will lead to more pressure on sub-Saharan Africa and the global supply chain, making smart technologies more critical.
"It is more important than ever that we move with pace, leveraging technology to provide solutions to the challenges the world faces and to play our role in delivering benefits to all in the supply chain - from the artisanal miners through to the consumer," Scaramanga said.
"This breakthrough in Burkina Faso is another important step in this journey."
Burkina Faso, in West Africa, produces 34 tonnes of artisanal gold per year. However, only 300kg was formally exported in 2019 due to a lack of traceability and lower export taxes in neighbouring countries, Minexx explained.
The Burkina Faso government has now lowered the taxes when exporting through L'Agence Nationale d'Encadrement des Exploitations Minières Artisanales et Semi-artisanales (ANEEMAS), the government body for artisanal and small-scale production.
In November 2021, Minexx agreed on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Solidaridad, an international civil society organisation, to improve the gold supply chain in Africa.