Blockchain Technology is the Future of Mining

In Dust Control, Dust Fyghter® LN100, Dust-Buster®, Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. by Jim Silva

Blockchain technology may be complex, but the benefits it offers mining companies should be clear to any industry professional.

Made famous by the cryptocurrency boom of the last several years, blockchain has emerged as a pivotal technology across industries ranging from shipping and logistics to health care. While it’s important to separate the actual benefits from the hype, blockchain startups raised $822 million in the first half of 2019, indicating that enterprises are moving quickly to leverage this technology’s strategic advantages.

Mining companies, in particular, should take note. Although some industry professionals may still think of blockchain as a technology developed by and for the banking sector, it can play a transformative role in streamlining the mineral supply chain, boosting transparency, executing contracts, and more. 

For mining company professionals looking for ways to update their operations, blockchain will be an essential addition to their organization’s tech stack. However, it’s also important to consider what infrastructural improvements mining companies should make in tandem. By investing in innovative, proven dust control products, for example, key decision-makers can ensure that blockchain platforms are supporting the most efficient and safe worksites possible.

What Exactly is Blockchain?

Blockchain functions as a dispersed digital ledger maintained across a peer-to-peer network. This ledger records transactions in groupings of data called blocks, which are then cryptographically secured and linked to one another in chains. This method of data entry and recording ensures that information can be distributed without being subjected to unauthorized changes.

By doing so, blockchain makes it possible for two or more parties to conduct business with confidence and without relying on digital trust. Since blockchain ledgers are constantly updated and immutable, everyone on the peer-to-peer network can act in concert knowing that recorded transactions have been verified by countless network assets.

What Can Blockchain Do for Mining Companies?

For mining companies considering investments in blockchain, the technology offers a number of strategic benefits — not least of which is greater transparency. At the supply chain level, blockchain can record information from a widespread network of vendors instantaneously, affording professionals greater insight into the status of shipments, in-transit orders, and more.

Blockchain also gets top marks when it comes to accuracy and speed. Because blockchain networks record information independently and because that information is verified by computers across the network, professionals can be confident that the data they’re seeing is reliable. Plus, committing records to an immutable ledger secured across countless computers eliminates the risk of paperwork being lost or damaged.

These benefits are essential when it comes to executing contracts. Blockchain networks function in real time, which means that information necessary to fulfill agreements between two or more parties can be supplied in real time as well, making the supply chain move faster and more effectively for everyone involved.

How Can Mining Companies Improve their Infrastructure?

Blockchain technology offers mining companies a sophisticated way to streamline operations and improve accountability. Whether stakeholders are looking to improve vendor management or boost end-to-end supply chain visibility, blockchain can meet these firms’ evolving and increasingly digital needs.

While it’s important for mining companies to consider what they can do to improve their digital infrastructure, it’s also incumbent upon decision-makers to ensure that digital assets are supported by dependable physical infrastructure as well. By investing in advanced dust control products like those from Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc., mining companies can ensure their worksites are dust-free and worthy of additional investments on the digital side of business.

Midwest’s suite of patented dust control products and strategic managed service programs are backed by 40 years of experience in the mining industry. Our comprehensive approach to dust control involves site-specific evaluations, strategy development, custom program design, and defined success metrics. And with these in hand, our team can work with you to develop a turn-key approach to dust control that gets results.

Jim is Midwest’s Business Unit Manager for Global Mining. He is experienced in operations management, asset management, and business improvement.