Remote Sensing in Mining

▪ How remote sensing help mining field? Optical remote sensing can be used for a wide range of applications that can be relevant to the mining industry. It helps for mineral exploration by mapping surface mineralogy and geology, which can be an indicator for subsurface geology and the presence of ore bodies. (Davids, C., Rouyet, L. 2018.)
Figure 4: left: Illustration of the general effect of vegetation stress on the reflectance spectrum. Right: examples of reflectance spectra of vegetation and minerals, with specific spectral features (Davids,C.et al, 2018 ). This technique is based on the characteristic absorption features in the spectrum for the different minerals or mineral groups (see e.g. Figure 4, right).
A standard digital camera records the visible light and uses filters to separate the light in red, green, and blue (e.g. Figure 4, left). In addition, Optical remote sensing gives us detailed knowledge of the change in surface topography, and this results in topographical maps and 3D models that can be used to study geomorphological features and assess mineral resource and pit layouts in open-pit mines.( Davids, C., Rouyet, L. 2018). Figure 5: Detailed topography of mine tailings derived from drone-based images and SFM modelling. Modified after Rauhala et al. (2017).
In addition to conventional methods of surveying, which are often laborious and require access to the site, 2 methods are often used: 1. Laser scanning or LIDAR (Light Imaging Detection A Ranging), either ground-based/terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) or airborne laser scanning (ALS); and 2 Photogrammetry from manned or unmanned aircraft (Figure 5). I addition, it is possible to derive a digital elevation model from very high-resolution stereo satellite imagery, such as Worldview or SPOT. ( Davids, C., Rouyet, L. 2018). ▪ Are there any examples of using remote sensing for mining in Oman? Oman has the potential occurrence of industrial minerals and ore deposits which mostly occur in inaccessible mountains and desert regions where it is difficult to do the conventional geological mapping. By knowing the absorption characters of spectral bands of Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and selected imaging processing methods, it reduces the time to discover the wide-area and save a lot of time and money that spent in the past for minerals exploration…
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