Canadian gold producer Iamgold has invested in financial technology company Emergent Technology (EmTech), which uses blockchain technology to track the provenance of responsibly sourced gold and improve transparency in the supply chain.

Other investors in the technology firm include Sprott, Valcambi and Yamana Gold.

EmTech’s blockchain-based supply chain application, known as Responsible Gold, automates the tracking of responsibly sourced gold from mine, to refinery, to vault.

The gold is then digitised into G-Coin tokens, which serve as digital certificates of title to responsibly sourced gold.

According to Iamgold, the blockchain technology will slash costs related to gold tracking and trading, while also improving transparency.

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Iamgold president and CEO Steve Letwin said: “Innovation is a key aspect of the industry’s modernised operating model, and as miners we must begin thinking more strategically to stay sustainable and profitable in the future.

“By placing us at the forefront of an exciting new blockchain-based ecosystem, this investment will allow Iamgold to unlock new value by revolutionising provenance and efficiency and providing greater transparency in the supply chain.

“EmTech also brings a unique opportunity for the gold sector to collaborate and further contribute to the improvement of socioeconomic and humanitarian conditions in jurisdictions where precious metals are mined.”

“EmTech brings a unique opportunity for the gold sector to collaborate and further contribute to the improvement of conditions.”

The miner has four producing gold mines with an average production rate of 800,000 attributable ounces of gold per year.

Earlier this year, De Beers used its Tracr blockchain technology platform to track the journey of 100 high-value diamonds along the value chain from mine to retail.

The Tracr project, which also includes diamond manufacturers, is aimed at improving efficiencies across the value chain and will be made available to the industry.