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Satellite Monitoring. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Satellite monitoring for mines

Published: 8 February 2016

In a new research project, researchers from Sweden, Finland and Norway will explore how remote monitoring techniques can be used effectively in the northern mining environments. This may involve, for example satellite monitoring of tailings dams to reduce environmental risks and increase safety.

Sven Knutsson, Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at Luleå University of Technology, will work in this project together with colleagues and PhD students. The project is called RESEM - Remote Sensing Supporting surveillance and operation of mines.

Satelitovervakning-gruva-LTU-Oulu-Troms.jpg
Area of operation for project (circled): associate cities Oulu (University of Oulu), Tromsø (Norut) and Luleå (Luleå Univeristy of Technology), mines located in the mineral-rich region of Europe including planned study site mines.

–  With advanced new technology, we can improve the planning and monitoring of mines and tailings impoundments. The project also strive to improve the safety and environmental issues by developing method where remote sensing together with land-based data can be used to serve the need of information during the entire life cycle of a mine, Sven Knutsson says.

Metals and minerals from mining are a key resource in the development of our society. Northern areas of Finland, Sweden and Norway are areas with many mineral-rich deposits. New mines are planned and opened.  However, with increased mining, the criticism towards mining activities has increased due to some severe accidents mainly related to tailings impoundments and tailings dams. Many of them have had  high environmental and economic consequences

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The project is an interdisciplinary EU funded collaboration project with partners from Luleå University of Technology, the University of Oulu and Norut Tromsø. Major funding is coming through EU Interreg program. Mining companies are also involved.

Sven Knutsson

Knutsson, Sven - Professor

Organisation: Soil Mechanics, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 493312