Using Earth Observation for Verification of Mining Activities
Munich, 9 November 2012
GAF AG, together with the Institute for Environmental Security (IES), the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are pleased to announce the launch of the SYMIN Project’s new website. The website aims to showcase how Earth Observation (EO) can assist mining authorities with the regulation of informal mining activities through the detection of informal mining sites.
The SYMIN Project focuses specifically on five pilot areas in Afghanistan which are rich in coal, gold, gemstones as well as quarries. It is demonstrated that satellite-based remote sensing can be an efficient tool for area-wide mapping and monitoring of informal mining activities in remote, poorly accessible or security sensitive areas.
Based on very high resolution (VHR) optical images data, stereo data and radar-based coherence analysis, together with other geo-data such as mining cadastre information, our team is able to extract information such as the location and description of mining activities as well as the presence of infrastructure.
This information is then 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 inspectors. Dr. Stefan Saradeth - GAF Director of International Consulting - comments: "GAF offers globally a comprehensive service package to mining authorities - this includes capacity building and consulting, training and know-how transfer up to geoinformation- and software solutions. SYMIN combined with our new mobile GIS offers exciting new options for mining inspectors."
It is hoped that the SYMIN website will contribute to raise awareness on the possibilities offered by satellite-based remote sensing for the detection and monitoring of informal mining activities aimed at law enforcement agencies dealing with remote and sensitive areas throughout the world.