Tradewind Markets, a technology platform for digitising the trading, settlement and ownership of precious metals, has announced its first-ever trade using Tradewind Origins, its provenance management solution.

The transaction saw Canadian gold producer Agnico Eagle sell 5,000 ounces of gold from its LaRonde mine in Quebec to Bank of Montreal (BMO). Agnico Eagle recorded detailed information about the provenance and supply chain of the gold using Tradewind Origins prior to delivery to the Royal Canadian Mint, which refined the gold and tagged the digital records of ownership with Agnico’s self-reported provenance information, including the origin of the metal. All of the provenance and supply chain data, as well as the transfer of ownership credits, were then recorded on Tradewind’s distributed ledger, which is built on R3’s Corda blockchain platform, and BMO formally assumed ownership.

According to Tradewind, the transaction marks the first time economic segregation – typically used with carbon credits – and blockchain technology have been used for precious metals supply chain management.

“This is a long-awaited development for precious metals markets,” says Michael Albanese, CEO of Tradewind. “By delivering meaningful data on how, when and where these assets were sourced we are providing the ecosystem with greater visibility into the precious metals global supply chain. By differentiating their metals, companies are unlocking the latent value of their production.”
Using blockchain technology to make minerals supply chains more transparent could give more comfort to trade financiers, who, because of high due diligence requirements and scrutiny, are increasingly risk-averse when it comes to financing minerals. Speaking to GTR recently, Albanese said: “For years, the mining community, even if they had been producing the gold and silver responsibly, have never really been able to brand themselves as producing responsibly, because they typically sell to a big bullion bank and then that metal loses its identity, because that bullion bank then resells it.” He added: “We wanted to help these responsible miners tag their metal with information-rich detail.”

Ben Lam, treasurer at Agnico Eagle Mines says: “Through their adoption of the Tradewind platform, BMO has improved precious metals producers’ ability to differentiate our product for the first time. Meanwhile, precious metals investors and downstream purchasers such as luxury goods companies and jewellers will be able to purchase from selective jurisdictions and sources, such as those adhering to the highest ESG standards. We are excited to work with BMO and Tradewind to improve how the precious metals market functions.”