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IOTA joins EU project to use DLT for sustainable mining


Earlier this week, the IOTA Foundation announced it is joining the EU-funded Dig_IT project to use DLT for increasing sustainability in the mining industry. IOTA is the only distributed ledger technology (DLT) provider for Dig_IT. 

Dig_IT was launched at the beginning of this month and consists of 16 consortium members. The four-year project has EU Horizon 2020 funding of €7 million($7.6 million) to digitize mining supply chains. It aims to develop an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform that would connect physical and internet systems to improve efficiency and sustainability. 

The project will collect data from IoT sensors at three levels — human (wearable garments), asset, and the environment — and will integrate market and historical data. The focus is on ensuring the quality of data and not the quantity. 

While such data aggregation will help stakeholders improve process efficiency, DLT integration will ensure that mining operations are being conducted sustainably. IOTA’s distributed ledger technology will be used to guarantee the origin, authenticity and integrity of data. Immutably logging this information will enable better decision making to reduce CO2 production, water consumption and waste production. 

Meanwhile, Dig_IT will present some of the mining data to the public using DLT. IOTA Streams, a messaging system, will guarantee data access to specific beneficiaries such as public authorities and the general public. 

IOTA Foundation will use €155,000 ($169,000) of public funding to integrate DLT in Dig_IT. This will be done in collaboration with Spanish research and development firm ITAINNOVA, the project coordinator. 

“The IOTA Foundation is very proud to be part of the Dig_it project and consortium and excited to be able to learn from real-world problems and to help the mining industry to make a real and positive impact,” said IOTA in its announcement

The attraction of the IOTA network for enterprise projects may have dimmed a little following the major security vulnerability in its wallet earlier this year. It resulted in the processing of payments being switched off altogether for a period.

Goals of Dig_IT 

Dig_IT will begin testing solutions by the end of this year, and use cases will be trialed at five mines located in Spain, Italy, Norway, and Finland. 

The project aims to increase mining efficiency by 17%, increase overall equipment effectiveness of machines and loading by 20% and 18%, respectively. Other goals include reducing CO2 emissions by 19%, creating 310 new jobs, and achieving €28 million return on investment. 

Other technology partners of Dig_IT include — Brunel University, Core Innovation, Tau, Ro technology, LIBRA MLI, ICCS Research, EUROCORE, STRATAGEM, SINTEF and Schneider Electric.

Other blockchain metals and mining projects 

Meanwhile, Minehub is another consortium working on digitizing mining operations and increasing sustainability. The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN) consortium is working on ethical sourcing and production of minerals. 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has also formed a consortium called The Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative.