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Africa|Cutting|Energy|Environment|Mining|Risk Management|Sensors|Services|Sustainable|Technology|Water|Solutions

Satellite data used in new tailings solution

3rd March 2023


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Tokyo-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite data and solutions provider Synspective and London-based risk management platform Insight Terra have entered into a strategic partnership to deliver a new space-enabled data and monitoring solution for the mining industry.

The solution uses satellites and earth observation (EO) coupled with ground sensors to monitor mine tailings facilities.

The companies will work together to provide an integrated product offering combining Insight Terra’s cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) Insight Platform with Synspective’s “leading-edge analytical models” of SAR data for mining-related industries.

The integrated solution enables the fusion of near real-time ground truth and EO data for proactive monitoring and alerts.

Insight Terra’s leading mining product, Tailings Insight, is currently deployed at several global mining companies for tailings dam monitoring, while Synspective develops and operates high-frequency, high-resolution SAR satellites called StriX to provide high-quality datasets and solution services.

Synspective founder and CEO Dr Motoyuki Arai says: “With our third StriX satellite and onsite data acquired by Insight Terra, we will greatly increase the availability of analytical data for real-world applications to help prevent and mitigate potential catastrophes. This is a productive step toward realising a more resilient and sustainable world with data-driven and collective learning approaches.”

The company has already placed three satellites into targeted orbit while planning to establish the constellation of 30 satellites and an analytics platform by late 2020s.

The integration of SAR data will provide powerful EO capabilities to the Tailings Insight application. This “cutting-edge” technology can be used to monitor ground movement and land deformation that are risk indicators for potential failures of tailings facilities, mine walls, and water dams, among others.

The companies will initially focus on the global mining industry, as the World Bank estimates that global mining activity will increase by more than 500% over the next decades in response to the global clean energy transition. The Tailings Insight solution including new InSAR capabilities will be a “leap forward” for stakeholders seeking to monitor and mitigate potential mine-related disasters.

“Adding Synspective’s EO data bolsters our space-enabled data and monitoring capabilities and is integral to our mission of protecting people, and the environment, from potential disasters such as the mine tailings facilities collapse in South Africa last September,” says Insight Terra cofounder and CEO Alastair Bovim.

“The integrated mine monitoring solution that we will deliver, in partnership with Synspective, will be a huge step toward this goal.”

The combined solution is aligned with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) promulgated in 2020.

The GISTM requires mines with high-risk tailings facilities, both active and closed, to comply by August 2023. This solution meets that timeline.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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