Satellite applications in diamond exploration and mine monitoring

N.C. Steenkamp, S.L. Goosen, P.J. Bouwer
2020 Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy  
SYNOPSIS Satellite-based applications for the monitoring of diamond exploration, operational mines, and post-closure mine sites is gaining traction. A variety of imagery is used to detect both kimberlite and alluvial deposits. Hyperspectral data is utilized mainly for primary deposits, and elevation models for secondary deposits. The data is used to constrain the exploration and ground truthing efforts, resulting in savings on both cost and time. Operational mines benefit from near-real-time
more » ... m near-real-time monitoring of mining and related activities, including include environmental and security aspects. Satellite imagery can also be used to detect illegal and artisanal diamond diggings, with particular value for ethical sourcing validation in the supply chain. Post-closure monitoring of dumps and rehabilitation reduces the on-site presence of staff. The limitations of satellite applications are related mainly to the cost of obtaining images and the resolution or number of bands available on a detection platform. Keywords: remote sensing, satellite, monitoring, diamond, exploration, kimberlite, alluvial.
doi:10.17159/2411-9717/1222/2020 fatcat:jesfjbeigjd5tmynrnbszi3h5m