Michelle Ash, former CIO of Barrick Gold, joins blockchain startup Minespider

Minespider, a blockchain startup for responsible mineral sourcing, announced today that Michelle Ash will be joining their advisory board. Ash was the former Chief Innovation Officer at Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold company, and has over twenty years of industry experience, including key roles at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, Acacia Mining, and GMG.

With major pilot programs in the pipeline for 2019, Minespider’s unique approach is about to be put to the test.

“I’m thrilled to be joining one of the most promising blockchain startups in the mining industry at present. They have a unique approach to responsible sourcing and I believe their technology is exactly what the industry needs to help become more transparent,” expressed Ash.

Ash joins other key figures on the Minespider advisory board, including Patrick Storchenegger, board member of the Ethereum Foundation, Maximilian Jarrett, Senior Special Adviser to the Chair of the Africa Progress Group, and Sam Williams, Co-founder & CEO of Arweave.

Ash’s previous expertise in unearthing industry disruptors makes her the ideal candidate to promote the potential of blockchain in the mining industry. As Ash stated: “I think that blockchain will transform and streamline the value chain. From the finding, permitting, and extracting, to the usage of the products, and including the various suppliers along the chain. This will drive costs down and simplify processes, as well as create significantly more transparency.”

Demand for responsibly sourced minerals heightens

With laws such as the Dodd-Frank Act Section 1502 and the EU’s Conflict Minerals Regulation placing increased pressure on manufacturers to demonstrate that their minerals have been sourced responsibly, many are searching for surefire solutions. With a relatively opaque supply chain, this is no simple task.

Minespider aims to offer transparency and traceability at every stage of the supply chain by tracking minerals directly from certified mines. While some companies are building private, permissioned blockchains, the Minespider protocol runs on a public blockchain that guards transparency through encryption. This is designed to reduce the interoperability issues that often come with running numerous private blockchains. With major pilot programs in the pipeline for 2019, Minespider’s unique approach is about to be put to the test. Ash’s timely addition to the advisory board will further position Minespider for success.

In the meanwhile, what does Ash envision the ideal mine of the future to look like? “There are two…for gold it would be that it is left in the ground – except when required for the creation of physical gold products (non-financial). The other would be an underground mine that has no people working underground, with small processing plants behind extraction equipment that pre-treated the material, so there would be no need for processing plants or tailings dams on the surface.” One thing’s for sure, disruptive technologies are imminent in the mining industry.