The Raw Material Radar will integrate blockchain and IoT technologies to improve Artisanal Small Scale mining in Western Africa.

Press release
The Raw Material Radar (RMR) Consortium, funded by EIT Raw Materials, aims at promoting fairer and responsible ASM mining practices in Liberia and Western Africa, by creating a new software+hardware solution for tracking raw materials. The new RMR platform will combine blockchain and IoT technologies to automatically record and track minerals' origin, ownership, and provenance and is planned to be further launched and commercialized in other markets in Africa and worldwide.

The Raw Material Radar (RMR) Consortium, funded by EIT Raw Materials, aims at promoting fairer and responsible ASM mining practices in Liberia and Western Africa, by creating a new software+hardware solution for tracking raw materials. The new RMR platform will combine blockchain and IoT technologies to automatically record and track minerals' origin, ownership, and provenance and is planned to be further launched and commercialized in other markets in Africa and worldwide. 

The RMR product will be composed of cost-effective IoT kits, including digitally connected weighing scales and tracking devices for material shipments. It will allow the automatic weighing of material delivery and recording of supplier's material ownership directly on-site. After assessing the quality of the product aggregated into a shipping barrel, the data will be digitized, and the container sealed with a connected tracking device. From that point onwards, the status and location of the barrel are constantly tracked until final delivery. All information regarding the material collection and shipping processes is securely stored in a blockchain-based infrastructure. This cutting-edge solution allows independent third parties to transparently verify and certify adherence to predefined process standards and regulations, facilitating compliant access for the ASM to European markets. 

The Raw Material Radar (RMR) Consortium combines the complementary experience in research and development, mining and technology of the four organizations, including:

  • Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) is recognized as one of the top research institutes in Italy, and it will serve as the coordinator for the RMR project through its OpenIoT Research Unit. OpenIoT, operating within FBK's Digital Industry Center, has demonstrated expertise in the field of IoT and specializes in integrating IoT with blockchains. OpenIoT will take the lead in designing and developing the IoT sensor devices, as well as integrating them into the blockchain-based infrastructure. Additionally, it will provide substantial support in identifying requirements, defining the system architecture, platform integration and delivery, and developing smart contracts.
  • ECTerra is an exploration and mining consultancy company specializing in mining project development from grassroots exploration to production. ECT's German subsidiary has generated specific expertise in exploring and mining tantalum ores during the last two decades. Under the ECT,  a new company in Liberia, UP CAPE PARTNERSHIP Ltd. (UCP), was founded. The company launched the "Fair Tantalum Liberia" project that was partially supported by the EIT Raw Materials. ECT will play the role of commercialization partner within the RMR project as well as guaranteeing lean management of the ASM regular activities (by UCP) and a proficuous pilot execution.
  • Fondazione Hub Innovazione Trentino (HIT) is a non-profit foundation whose shareholders are the University of Trento, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), and Trentino Sviluppo S.p.A. HIT promotes technology transfer and innovation of the Trentino region to valorize research results. HIT’s activities focus on connecting scientific excellence to opportunities for market innovation, ranging in fields including technology transfer and services, open innovation initiatives, research-industry platforms and ventures, start-up acceleration, access to market and finance to scaleups, and participation in national and international strategic initiatives. HIT is responsible for IP management and supporting ECTerra in defining an effective commercialization strategy. 
  • Minespider is a technology company offering a blockchain-based platform for tracking mineral supply chain data and creating more sustainable and transparent mineral supply chains. Minespider has received funding from the EU H2020 program to develop a blockchain-based infrastructure and supply chain tracking tools and services specifically designed for the mineral industry, which are already in operation in major supply chains worldwide. Besides that, Minespider secured an EIT RawMaterials Booster funding to develop OreSource, a due diligence product helping mines and smelters capture essential information that importers in the EU need to comply with EU Conflict Minerals Regulation. Minespider will contribute to the design and management of the blockchain-based software infrastructure, supported by FBK.