The gold supply chain and digital token platform Responsible Gold is the only blockchain solution that automates tracking from origin to vault, Iamgold officials said.
Gold entering the system is digitised to G-Coin tokens, or digital certificates of title to the gold, and tokens can then be purchased as investments and moved as needed to transfer wealth or make payments. The tokens are also redeemable for physical gold.
The miner called G-Coins "the foundation for a liquid, digital gold trading market", adding that the blockchain technology reduces the operational costs of tracking and trading. It also increases security and transparency versus the traditional supply chain and current trading platforms.
The total of Iamgold's strategic investment was not disclosed, though president and CEO Steve Letwin noted that they are happy to be an early investor.
"Innovation is a key aspect of the industry's modernised operating model, and as miners we must begin thinking more strategically to stay sustainable and profitable in the future," he said. "By placing us at the forefront of an exciting new blockchain-based ecosystem, this investment will allow Iamgold to unlock new value by revolutionising provenance and efficiency and providing greater transparency in the supply chain."
He also noted that EmTech's system allows the gold sector to work together and further contribute to both socioeconomic and humanitarian improvements where precious metals are mined.
"We look forward to working with like-minded peers for the betterment of the gold mining industry and taking control of our destiny by bringing gold into the digital age."
"Investors and fabricators are increasingly demanding ethically sourced gold from miners and refiners," EmTech managing director of responsible gold sourcing Matthew Keen added. "Our … blockchain technology supports their efforts by providing an immutable and irrefutable record of provenance and chain of custody. For the first time, ethically minded investors can trade G-Coin tokens to access gold's classic portfolio diversification attributes."
The EmTech Responsible Gold supply-chain application is operational and now available for licencing. The companies said that G-Coin tokens will be available for purchase later this year.