Blockchain platform MineHub has partnered with trade finance network Contour, bringing together the two sides’ digital supply chain and trade finance technology solutions for the global metals and mining industry.

Launched in 2019, the MineHub platform focuses on trade operations and paper flows between metals and mining companies. It allows parties involved in selling, buying, delivering and paying for a cargo of minerals to collaborate securely in real time, sharing electronic information rather than couriering or emailing documents that are subject to interception, fraud and cyber threats.

Contour, which went live in 2020, delivers decentralised digital trade finance over distributed ledger technology, which allow parties to transact and view information securely.

With this partnership, MineHub will handle miners’ digital contracts with buyers and streamline post-trade operations, including document flow, financing, ESG reporting and logistics.

Although the two platforms are built on different blockchain technology – Contour uses R3’s Corda, while MineHub runs on the IBM blockchain platform using the open-source Hyperledger Fabric standards – trades on MineHub can flow into the Contour network via API, where a digital letter of credit (LC) can then be created.

These trades can subsequently be financed on Contour, with a time status on financing progress being made available to miners within the MineHub platform.

“The Contour network is an excellent service to the global trade industry,” says Arnoud Star Busmann, CEO at MineHub. “The combination is a perfect example how network and platform interoperability creates exponential benefits for our shared trade ecosystem. MineHub is focused on digitising the end-to-end post-trade management of physical commodity transactions. By connecting to the Contour network, this now also includes seamless access to trade finance instruments like LCs from a fast-growing group of global banks.”

Currently, Contour counts around 20 banks as members. In a recent interview with GTR, Carl Wegner, CEO of Contour, said that he expects more to join in the coming months.

According to the two companies, digital transformation is estimated to generate more than US$320bn of value in the metals and mining industry over the next decade, including US$77bn through the integration of technologies that enable better data exchange amongst participants.

MineHub and Contour say they will now focus on bringing “greater trust and transparency” to fragmented metals and mining supply chains and trade finance processes, helping data flow across the world’s trade routes, and connecting buyers, sellers and their banks.