Umicore has joined the development of Re I Source, a way to responsibly trace produced cobalt from the mine for use in electric cars.

The project was initially launched by metals and mining companies China Molybdenum (CMOC), Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and Glencore in 2019.

According to the companies, the project will use blockchain technology and zero-knowledge proof authentication to link digital flows with physical material flows on the ground to improve sustainable practices for the material. It is currently being tested in real operating conditions, from upstream cobalt production sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to downstream electric vehicle production sites and will run until the end of 2021.

Re|Source also reportedly uses industrial sustainable mining and sourcing standards and frameworks, such as ICMM, RMI, IRMA CIRAF1, Copper Mark and others.

According to Umicore, the project also has a direct link with the Global Battery Alliance (GBA)’s Battery Passport project through ERG, Umicore, Glencore and other Re|Source pilot partners. The Battery Passport is aimed at improving the value chain to make battery production more responsible and sustainable.

‘Blockchain technology offers us an unprecedented ability for traceability in the supply chain,’ said Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore. ‘But traceability is not enough on its own, it must be part of a wider industry effort to bring improvements to the entire cobalt supply chain. This starts with responsible sourcing compliance, for example through RMI; the collective use of wider ESG standards such as CIRAF and ICMM; and supporting the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) sector through multi-stakeholder initiatives like the Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA).’

This story uses material from Umicore, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.