Metals and mining-focused blockchain platform MineHub has appointed Andrea Aranguren as chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Aranguren previously served as MineHub’s president and chief operating officer, after joining the company earlier this year following its acquisition of commodities ecosystem Waybridge Technologies, where she was co-founder and chief customer officer.

Prior to this, she held the position of vice-president of environmental markets at IHS Markit, where she was responsible for the product design and development of the environmental registry. She also played an integral role in the development of IHS Markit’s commodity tracker – a digital documentation and inventory reconciliation platform for physical commodities.

Her professional experience also includes four years at Goldman Sachs, where she held the roles of vice-president of metals logistics and vice-president of commodities.

In her new role, she takes over from the company’s former CEO Arnoud Star Busmann, who has led MineHub since concept stage. Prior to taking MineHub live in 2019, Star Busmann was the innovation lead for commodities at ING Bank, where he led Easy Trading Connect, a cross-industry initiative that spawned projects including Vakt and Komgo.

“I am extremely excited and honoured to assume this new role as CEO and look forward to building upon the company’s strong foundation created under Arnoud’s leadership,” says Aranguren. “I am grateful for the trust placed in me by the board of directors, and am committed to advancing our position as a global leader in providing mining and supply chain technology solutions, driving innovation and delivering unparalleled value to our customers. With our talented team and dedication to excellence, I am confident that we continue to deliver strong results going forward.”

Initially launched with industry partners including Wheaton Precious Metals, ING Bank, BHP, Vale, Kimura Capital, China Baowu and IBM, MineHub’s platform focuses on trade operations and document flows between companies in the raw materials sector. 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.

While many other blockchain-based platforms in trade have faltered – most notably, a bank-backed network for open account trade, and TradeLens, a supply chain ecosystem that facilitated information exchange for more than 65% of containerised trade, MineHub has been successful in developing a solution that responds to industry needs, starting at the mine and moving downstream to processors, fabricators and manufacturers.

In recent years, it has carried out several transactions – including what it says was the first-ever blockchain-based iron ore trade in 2020, in which BHP delivered US$14mn of iron ore to China Baowu, a state-owned iron and steel company, with trade confirmation, logistics, assay exchange, notifications and document sharing all carried out on the platform.

In 2021, it completed an oversubscribed US$10mn financing and listing on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange, before transitioning to revenue generation with its first commercial agreement, bringing in BHP as a paying client. This was followed by further deals with Sumitomo and Capstone Copper.

With this year’s purchase of Waybridge, MineHub created what it called an end-to-end digital solution for the entire mine-to-market supply chain.

Speaking to GTR, Star Busmann, who remains on MineHub’s board of directors, says: “It has been an incredible journey of learning to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but we are now at a stage where we have proven product-market fit with multiple products in multiple markets. We have cutting edge technology, a world-class team, with operations and large corporate customers in key places like Singapore, London, Shanghai, Santiago, Tokyo and recently also New York. Revenue is growing, the company is in a strong position, and we look forward to rapidly expanding our user base.”

“With Andrea taking over this role, the company and our customers get a very experienced leader, with a strong customer focus and a decade of hands-on experience in commodity supply chain operations. Her experience at co-founding Waybridge and leading customer operations is the perfect background, and she is very well suited to step into the CEO role,” he adds.

Star Busmann says he will continue to support MineHub in its growth phase, and will now explore and pursue new ventures, which are yet to be announced.