Global gold miner Nordgold has implemented a new tailings monitoring system at the Lefa mine, in Guinea, in line with its commitment to environmental stewardship.
The system was developed by Swift Geospatial Solutions, which is experienced in change detection algorithms.
The monitoring system uses satellite imagery-processing algorithms to keep track of the condition of the mine’s tailings storage facilities to proactively identify potential risks.
It also allows the company to monitor community welfare by tracking community dynamics, including houses and buildings.
Additionally, the technology can help to monitor artisanal mining activities around Lefa’s current mining permit, allowing local management to better assess and prevent potential safety and security hazards.
The Lefa mine’s licence area currently spans more than 1 100 km2. The latest satellite technology enables cost-effective monitoring of this expanse with regular updates and is backed by a robust artificial intelligence package.
As part of the new system, Planet and SkySAT satellite platforms will be used to perform different tasks, both integrated within the Swift Geospatial Solutions online platform.
All outputs are delivered through a custom-built Web-application and dashboard environment.
Nordgold chief legal officer Evgeny Tulubensky says the company is pleased to be testing this innovative tool, enabled by satellites, at the Lefa mine.
“It will help us to receive timely and relevant information about the condition of Lefa’s critical environmental infrastructure and the mine’s immediate surroundings.
“Using this rich data, our aim is to continue reducing our impact on the natural environment and ensuring the sustainable development of local communities. Depending on the outcomes of this pilot, we will assess its viability for other operations.”