Satellite-Based Hyperspectral Analysis for Improved License to Operate and Lifecycle Operations in Mining

R.P. Weaver
Orbital Sidekick, Inc.,
United States

Keywords: Satellite, Monitoring, Hyperspectral, AI/ML, Community Trust, Exploration, Closure, Rehabilitation


The mining sector is today afforded a growth opportunity unlike anything seen by previous generations of operators. Mining companies are anxious to expand and capital is available but traditional risks to new projects are compounded by opposition borne of low community trust in the industry and outsized resistance from local and regional stakeholders. Mineral production is increasingly a national security issue and yet new projects remain stranded, obstructed and overlooked. A broad conversation is due among industry, community and political stakeholders to address the juxtaposition of stratospheric market demand with seeming supply suppression. A significant theme in this conversation has to be restoring trust in the industry as a whole. With powerful new satellite platforms being deployed to offer commercial monitoring and intelligence services, could they offer mining operators a cost-effective measure of transparency in the communities in which they seek to expand? Building on OSK's presentation at CREaTe in 2022, the company is launching its first two of six hyperspectral monitoring satellites during April 2023, with focused tasking to support operational integrity and license to operate across energy and mining sectors. Initial imagery should be available to share just in time for this event. This presentation seeks to engage this conversation using the example of a persistent monitoring technology that could contribute to improved stakeholder relations necessary for a booming mining renaissance to begin.