In this online South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) branch meeting, Pinkmatter Solutions’ Dr Nicolaas Steemkamp will explore satellite-based applications for the mining industry, including optical, hyperspectral and synthetic aperture radar satellite uses.
Travel bans and restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic required alternative methods of monitoring mining sites, which satellite technology has come to fulfil.
Optical imagery is used in surface change monitoring and detection platforms, with diverse applications ranging from vegetation monitoring for rehabilitation projects to near real-time fire detection. Volume calculation products, with increasing accuracy, is becoming more popular for measuring excavations, stockpiles and rock dump volume changes. Satellite imagery is applied in conjunction with artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically delineate new dwelling structures and monitor encroachment.
Hyperspectral satellite imagery is used in exploration to delineate mineralised targets. Surface movement monitoring, both natural and mining induced, is performed through interferometry synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which is also suitable for monitoring tailing storage sites as part of the global risk mitigation process.