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Glencore to join Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network for cobalt

Swiss mining and commodities giant Glencore PLC will join the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network, an industry collaboration that uses blockchain technology to support responsible sourcing and production practices.

Glencore said Dec. 12 that its participation is expected to improve its transparency and supply chain traceability.

Cobalt will be Glencore's initial focus for the membership, while other battery metals as well as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold will be covered in 2020.

Glencore expects to obtain full membership by the end of February 2020. The network is on track to become commercially operational by the spring of 2020.

Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform and powered by the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric, blockchain technology promises to provide a secure and immutable record that can be shared with members of the network based on permission, according to the news release.

Glencore's move comes amid the London Metal Exchange's plan to ban the trade of metals tainted by human rights abuses.

The proposed restriction had initially covered just cobalt and tin, although the LME later expanded the scope and included all metal brands. The LME is requiring metal producers to be fully engaged in the process by 2022 and fully compliant by 2023.