At its core, Nature’s Vault is a greentech company rooted in the principles of sustainability. Our focus is to create innovative and impactful solutions that address our planet’s environmental concerns. Our first project, the Legacy Token, tackles the issue of unnecessary and environmentally harmful gold mining through our methodology to monetize gold preserved in the ground. Every ounce of gold produced releases 800 kg of GHGs and toxic pollutants into the environment. Moreover, 30-40% of mined gold ends up collecting dust in bank vaults, only to be traded digitally. We believe that the traditional methods of mining and trading gold are outdated and unsustainable.
With the emergence of blockchain and Web 3.0, we realised we could leverage this technology to revolutionise the way people consume gold. In early 2021, we developed our methodology: 1) We acquire mining rights to gold deposits based on geotechnical surveys (NI 43-101 or JORC), 2) rather than mining the gold, we commit to leaving it untouched and instead tokenize it into Legacy Tokens, 3) Legacy Tokens become available to purchase and trade on digital exchange platforms, 4) Using the proceeds of the Legacy Token, we acquire more mining rights to protect.
In early 2022, Nature’s Vault acquired mining rights to a gold deposit located in the Thunder Bay area of Ontario. This deposit contains approximately 125,000 troy ounces of gold, quantified through geological technical reports. In other words, based on the global average, potentially 100,000 tonnes of CO2. And our target is to acquire rights to at least 1 million ounces of gold.
Besides carbon emissions, the Legacy Token project also benefits communities and the environment surrounding gold deposits. A byproduct of gold mining is the generation of tailings and acid mine drainage. These are the effects of exposing heavy metal minerals to surface elements. In the long term, once acid mine drainage begins, it enters a feedback loop and can continue into perpetuity. Finally, gold mining operations can have an impact on communities through high levels of fresh water consumption, material waste, and industrial activities such as heavy load traffic, noise pollution, and dust.
We realise that mining is still necessary for our transition to a green future, however that doesn’t mean it needs to continue to the same extent. The Legacy Token creates an opportunity for mining industries to cut down on non-industrial resource extraction and yet still create value through digitised assets. By leveraging blockchain technology and Web 3.0, we can open the doors to new ways of investing in our planet, and spread awareness on the inherent value in preserving natural capital.
Financial Sustainability, Scalability
We believe this project is highly scalable given the current trends in achieving a net-zero future and the advent of blockchain technology. According to the International Finance Corporation, $2.3 trillion was invested for impact causes in 2020. For blockchain, the global market was valued at $1.57 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $163 billion in 2027.
Traditional mining faces many obstacles from high capital expenditures to community opposition and our model provides a solution to those challenges. In fact, several of the mining rights in our acquisition pipeline are available due to strong community opposition.
The major barriers we have to overcome are relevant to the indefinite tenure of the mining rights we acquire. In countries such Indonesia, the regulations surrounding the ownership of mining rights are more susceptible to change than countries such as the US or Canada. For this reason, at this current stage, we are focusing on acquiring patented mining rights in Canada, the US, or Australia. If opportunities arise in the future where we can purchase patented rights in other regions, then we will consider expanding to those areas.
Our competitors include projects that tokenize physical gold, such as PAXOS, where each token represents 1 troy ounce of gold stored in a vault. Although similar, our project is fundamentally different and transformative from an ESG standpoint. Our competitors offer tokens linked to gold stored in a vault above ground, whereas we offer tokens linked to gold stored below ground, unmined, and without the associated environmental damage. To our knowledge, Nature’s Vault is the first and only start-up to create a utility token (i.e. a token which sells a service) that sells the active preservation of gold in the ground.
We are currently in our private sales round and to date have closed approximately USD $1.2 million since starting in Q2 2022. We have also partnered with a market maker, AUROS, to help keep our market liquid.
In 5-10 years time, we hope our project will have convinced people to change the way they think about gold and the mining of it. In particular, we hope our project will leave an impact on gold mining industries by demonstrating that gold does not need to be physically mined to create value, and that tokenized gold can hold just as much value.
We are also discussing with established carbon registries on the possibility of generating carbon offset credits through the practice of avoided mining. Similar to carbon projects which generate credits through the preservation of forests and wetlands. If this protocol is approved, we believe our project will become significantly more scalable.