Vancouver, B.C., January 17, 2023. MineHub Technologies Inc. (TSXV: MHUB, OTCQB: MHUBF) (“MineHub” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide this corporate update to shareholders.
2022 was a pivotal year for the Company as it signed its first commercial agreements with major global customers. BHP, a market leader in the mining industry, started using the platform in business operations after several successful trials. In addition, Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, which plays a central role in the global copper industry, also started with commercial shipments across the MineHub platform.
MineHub has focused on the upstream copper industry as a strategic entry point due to demand from key customers needing to integrate large networks of customers and suppliers. As one of the world’s most traded metals, copper brings with it powerful network effects due to the number of both producers and end users around the globe.
Copper is essential to the energy transition and is widely used in the automotive, construction, renewable energy, consumer electronics and other industries. An efficient and resilient copper supply chain is thus of paramount importance to most countries around the world. MineHub’s platform is gaining acceptance as one of the few digital offerings able to meet the demands of this highly technical and globally integrated supply network.
MineHub’s market engagement in 2022 was focused on Chilean copper production and Chinese and Japanese smelters and refiners. Chile represents 7 million of the 21 million tons of copper produced annually. China and Japan represent 70% of global copper smelting and refining capacity. MineHub is in discussions with companies representing approximately half the global copper mining production, and two thirds of copper smelting and refining capacity in China and Japan. Several firms beyond those already announced are now in the pilot stage before potentially moving to commercial negotiations.
The MineHub platform can be easily adapted to other commodity supply chains, with the Company planning to expand to iron ore, zinc and lithium markets in 2023. Other notable developments in 2022 included:
- Completion of a first iron shipment from Roy Hill, a large Australian miner, to Xiamen C&D, one of the largest trading groups in China.
- Award of a project by the Singapore Marine Port Authority to develop and promote interoperability of electronic Bills of Lading
- Establishing collaborations with key digital trade platforms TradeWaltz in Japan and TradeGo in China for integration of their systems with MineHub
- Initiating discussions with leading firms in the lead and zinc concentrates market
- Welcoming two new institutional investors, the Andurand Climate and Energy Transition Fund and Voltan Frontier Markets Fund.
Regulatory developments in 2022 have had a profound impact on global supply chains, accelerating the need for digitization of supply chain data. Having data that is usable, shareable, verifiable and unforgeable attached to every commodity shipment is no longer simply a matter of efficiency. Several laws and standards came into effect in the past year that likely cannot be met with the paper-based processes still common in the mining supply chain.
Companies all along the metals supply chain now must document the provenance of their critical inputs, its ownership sequence, emissions content, labour practices, ESG standards, sanctions compliance, counterparty suitability, financial flows and other criteria. Without the required data attached to each shipment, a company’s ability to use or export metals and concentrates is highly restricted. Laws which have recently come into force include:
- U.S. Inflation Reduction Act which includes provisions on documenting the source of battery metals
- EU Battery Metals legislation requiring proof of origin for battery metals
- EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive which mandates disclosure of ESG performance and supply chain due diligence
- London Metals Exchange Responsible Sourcing Requirements. The Joint Due Diligence Standards for copper, lead, nickel, molybdenum and zinc, formulated with Copper Mark, OECD, the Responsible Metals Initiative and other partners, lay out environmental, human rights and governance criteria that must be documented for metals transacting on the LME
- Various countries’ laws sanctioning metals exports from Russia which often are passed through multiple owners, making their origin difficult to prove
- Various countries’ legislation around Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions disclosures which require complex data along the full supply chain
MineHub’s platform is designed to capture, in an efficient and useable manner, much of the data needed to meet the ever-growing information demands attached to metals and concentrates along the full supply chain. The company expects 2023 to be a year of rapid adoption of digital solutions among its customers, who will be increasingly challenged to meet compliance obligations with existing manual processes.
The MineHub platform is designed and built with industry leaders, and their requirements and expectations set a high bar for our product. MineHub continuously executes live transactions with prospective customers to ensure the platform meets the highest standards, is secure, easy to use and provides real value to users. Data from these pilots have enabled us to develop a validated roadmap and prioritise our capital investments.
The MineHub Assay Exchange is gaining traction in the metal concentrates market where many of the metal supply chains begin. It is a key part of every shipment of concentrates and subject to significant operational risk. Streamlining the assay process and reducing risk through automation is a key goal of all operations teams in the companies with which we work.
Miners, smelters and trading houses rely on global laboratories to determine the chemical specification, and therefore the value, of every concentrate shipment. Labs are critical partners in the metals supply chain and therefore also for the digital ecosystem MineHub has developed. In 2022, ALS Inspection Ltd, the leading global laboratory for assays, became the first lab we work with to provide their service via the MineHub system. MineHub expects to announce further agreements with key global laboratories in 2023.
The MineHub Trade Management Application was enhanced in 2022 with container tracking functionality to serve the refined metals and steel markets and put to the test through a series of pilot shipments during the year. Contract management functionality required by MineHub users was also added.
The MineHub ESG Application allows users to meet many of the disclosure and verification requirements by regulators, exchanges and investors. Clients can now track various ESG certifications across multiple brands, as well as automating compliance disclosures and emissions accounting. A MineHub customer can now document its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions from primary data sources for every individual shipment.
The company now also operates MineHub IT infrastructure in mainland China, to ensure that our technology and licensing are compliant with local data and cybersecurity regulations. This solid base in China is a key differentiator between MineHub and other companies seeking to serve global supply chain customers.
MineHub has invested, and will continue to invest, significant resources in strengthening the resilience and scalability of the MineHub platform over the course of the year.
Looking ahead in 2023
MineHub’s emphasis is shifting from build-out to onboarding customers for live operations. The company is adapting its organisational structure and resourcing accordingly. MineHub formalised its presence in Asia in anticipation by establishing corporate entities in Singapore and China, both key markets for MineHub’s customers. Localised Asian infrastructure will enable MineHub to engage more easily with customers in those jurisdictions, as well as operate in compliance with local regulations. In addition, MineHub has expanded its activities in the key mining countries Brazil and Chile.
MineHub’s achievements and progress in 2022 have provided a robust foundation for the coming year, in which it expects to:
- Expanding its commercial customer-base, particularly in Chile, China and Japan
- Increasing its volumes and value of contracts on the MineHub platform
- Growing the ecosystem of services connected to the platform, like assay labs, warehouses and financiers
- Expanding its footprint in the copper market as well as the broader metals and mining industry
- Launch offerings for the agricultural and other commodity industries
- Continue to invest in the development of new capabilities, prioritising automated customer onboarding, enhanced user experience, system resilience and cybersecurity.
In addition, MineHub would like to announce the resignation of Mathijs Bulten, the Company’s COO, effective January 31, 2023, and like to thank Mr. Bulten for his achievements during his tenor with the Company.
Also, MineHub has entered into an agreement with LFG Equities Corp. to provide digital media and marketing services to the company in 2023. LFG, a Toronto-based company, will provide content development, media buying and distribution, and marketing services through social media channels and on-line media placements to the company. The company and LFG act at arm’s length, and LFG has no present interest, directly or indirectly, in the company or its securities.
Under the terms of the agreement, LFG will be paid up to $150,000 cash over a 12-month period and receive 150,000 stock options in the company, each option exercisable at 30 cents per share for a period of five years. The options have been granted in accordance with the terms of the company’s current stock option plan and have a hold period of four months and a day from the date of issuance. Additionally, the options vest in stages over a period of 12 months, with 37,500 options vesting every 3 months. The agreement is subject to receipt of TSX Venture Exchange approval.
MineHub would like to thank its customers, shareholders, partners and team for their support in 2022 as it looks forward to the coming year.
About MineHub Technologies
MineHub is an open, enterprise-grade platform for digital trade, bringing efficiency, security and responsibility to mining and metals supply chains. MineHub connects the many parties involved in a physical commodity transaction in a digitally integrated workflow, operating on the basis of shared information secured by a global enterprise blockchain network. Users of MineHub are in full control of their supply chains, enabling them to optimise their use of resources, respond better and faster to customer needs and have confidence in the resilience, security and compliance of their operations.
Arnoud Star Busmann
CEO, MineHub Technologies Inc.