Nornickel has joined a blockchain initiative as part of its bid to support responsible minerals sourcing and production practices from mine to market.

The move by the Russian miner, which is the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel, will see it link up with other industry stakeholders across the minerals supply chain as part of the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN).

It comes after Nornickel recently announced a broad strategy to utilise sophisticated digital technologies to create a customer-centric supply chain, which would include metal-backed tokens on the global Atomyze platform – a blockchain-powered tokenisation platform that represents physical assets in digital form.

Anton Berlin, Nornickel’s vice president of sales and distribution, said: “As one of the largest industry groups globally and the producer of the minerals essential for the transition to a carbon-free world, Nornickel is well aware of its responsibility to make the metals supply chains sustainable and highly transparent.

“We believe that the digital technologies of RSBN and Atomyze will create the path for Nornickel and its partners to participate in a circular value chain, tracing commodity flows in near real time as well as replacing cumbersome paperwork.”


Joining blockchain initiative provides Nornickel with “greater business sustainability”

Blockchain technology is being increasingly deployed across industries for a myriad of purposes – often as a means to improve corporate transparency and accountability through the capacity to produce and maintain a trusted record of transaction activity throughout a supply chain.

In a sometimes murky world of extractive mineral sourcing, it is easy to see how a technology that makes traceability more effective through digital certification and permanent record-keeping could be beneficial.

Blockchain creates an immutable digital ledger that records transactions across a decentralised, distributed networkof computer archives, so that the audit trail can’t be changed or deleted.

This means companies can have a higher degree of certainty about the origin and nature of each interaction that occurs along a given supply chain, from extraction right through to sale.

With Nornickel joining the RSBN, a series of its supply chains will be audited annually against key responsible sourcing requirements by services provider RCS Global.

The audits cover each stage of the company’s vertically integrated operations from Russian mines to refineries in Finland and Russia.

Once audited against responsible sourcing requirements, each supply chain will be brought on to the RSBN and an immutable audit data trail will be captured on the platform, proving responsible nickel and cobalt production, its maintenance and its ethical provenance.

Nornickel believes the integration with RSBN is another step towards it achieving “greater business sustainability” by creating a permanent record of minerals on the blockchain technology.

At a later development stage, data such as upstream carbon intensity as well as the miner’s other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) attributes will be tracked.