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Russia's Nornickel uses digital tokens to fight illegal mining and trafficking of minerals

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(Kitco News) - Russian mining giant Nornickel, the world's largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, said that use of smart contracts in the company's trading operations, where digital tokens are backed by the metals produced by the company, could help to fight illegal mining and trafficking of minerals, among other measures.

Nornickel delivered its suggestions during a roundtable dedicated to the fight against crime in the field of mining and circulation of minerals and precious metals. The event was initiated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Customs Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The Russian side was represented by Nornickel.

Along with the discussion of the problems of illegal mining and trafficking of minerals, a special attention was paid to the topic of using digital solutions to facilitate investigations in this area, the company said.  

The report of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) specifically noted Nornickel's longstanding activity in the development of a project to create a global database of products containing platinum group metals, in partnership with South African companies.

According to Dmitry Grigoriev, Director of the Information Protection and IT Infrastructure Department at Nornickel, such an assessment is a recognition of the company's efforts in the field of development of effective modern tools to combat illegal trafficking in precious metals.

He also noted that Nornickel's unique comprehensive methodology aimed at identification of samples of products containing platinum group metals was highly appreciated by specialists and included in the UNICRI report titled "Technology and Security: Countering criminal interference in legitimate supply chains" as one of the most effective technologies.

"In addition, among the promising solutions, the study indicates the use of smart contracts by Nornickel in trading operations where tokens are backed by the metals produced by the company. In the context of the rapid digitalization of all production and technological processes, the company's developments show their relevance and receive international recognition," added Grigoriev.

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