Germany: GAF AG bagged a contract from the European Space Agency (ESA). The contract, Timely Situation Awareness for Law Enforcement and Intelligence Application, is part of the Value Added Element (VAE) programme. The purpose of the VAE programme is to support industry in the use of earth observation data. As part of the contract, the company will use optical and radar remote sensing sensors and interpretation techniques to locate, map and monitor small-scale and artisanal mining (ASM) operations.
In many countries, information about ASM is outside governmental supervision and regulation. Therefore, a need arises to monitor and map these activities.
Under this project, a high resolution optical image data, stereo data and radar-based coherence analysis is being applied and interpreted together with other geo-data such as mining cadastre information.
Information regarding location and description of mining activities and rough estimation of extracted material is collected to monitor ASM activities.
ASM can be environmentally damaging and often has serious health and safety consequences for workers and surrounding communities. Therefore, the information collected by remote sensors is used to create up-to-date reconnaissance maps and dossiers with a description of current mining activities in order to facilitate the work of in-situ mines.
This compilation of an inventory will help in regularising the sector, i.e. the enforcement of health, safety and environmental standards and the collection of royalties. Governments can then also grant operators proper legal title and provide technical, marketing and training support.
Source: GAF AG