BHP completes first blockchain copper concentrate trade with Minmetals

Visitors to the BHP (formerly known as BHP Billiton) booth speak with representatives during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual convention in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Miner BHP Group (BHPB.L) has completed a $30 million blockchain trade in copper concentrate with China Minmetals Corp, online platform MineHub (MHUB.V) said on Tuesday.

The pilot transaction was the first cross-border shipment for copper concentrates using blockchain, MineHub said in a statement.

"We’re planning another trial with an expanded scope in early 2022," BHP Chief Commercial Officer Vandita Pant said in an article on BHP's website.

Blockchain is a digital ledger that forms the backbone of many cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

In June 2020, BHP used MineHub for its first blockchain trade in iron ore with China Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd.

Commodity groups in recent years have been seeking to save money by digitising a sector that still uses millions of paper documents, faxes and emails, but progress has been slow.

The settlement process for copper concentrates - partially processed ore - is complex, involving data moving between banks, logistics providers and government departments.

The blockchain copper transaction also included carbon emissions data and metals assay results showing the various elements of the concentrate, MineHub Chief Executive Arnoud Busmann said.

The destinations of the shipment, which was completed recently, were not disclosed, a spokesperson said.

Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Jan Harvey

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.