Project II: Spatiotemporal mapping of dust dispersion around mining sites using remote sensing (MinEODust), is hosted and carried out under the auspices of University of Liège, GeMMe – Georesources & Geoimaging Lab with the support of the “Remote Sensing for Mineral Mapping” group at CSIRO (Perth, Australia) and industrial partners of the EIT RawMaterials community, namely ERAMET and ArcelorMittal.

Researcher: Dr. Elsy Ibrahim

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ir. Eric Pirard, University of Liège

Project Summary:

MINeoDUST aims to explore the potential of Copernicus data in mine site monitoring and especially in mapping dust dispersion patterns around active sites. Previous studies of similar problems in Australia and in Europe have been performed with airborne hyperspectral data (HyMap) or discontinued spaceborne data (ASTER) offering both higher spatial and spectral resolutions. Nevertheless, the proven potential of Sentinel 2 for mapping iron oxides and the use of the most recent multi-sensor fusion/classification techniques open a window of opportunities to serve the raw materials community. This project also considers the high revisiting time of the Sentinel 2 programme as another very interesting asset when it comes to mapping the dynamic of dust dispersion around extractive sites, but also transportation (rail, road) and loading sites (ports). MINeoDUST will be hosted by the University of Liège and more specifically the GeMMe – Georesources & Geoimaging Lab. This lab is a member of EARSEL and has a team made up of both field geologists and digital imaging specialists. ULiège also hosts the famous CSL (Centre Spatial de Liège), one of ESA’s four test sites for satellites with specialization in optics and imaging, offering a unique opportunity for this project to also come up with recommendations for future missions. The project builds on a close partnership with the “Remote Sensing for Mineral Mapping” group at CSIRO in Perth (Dr Ramanaidou – Commodity Research Leader Fe and Lateritic Ni). This group is currently collecting field data on test sites in New Caledonia. Two major mining companies, Eramet, and ArcelorMittal, have already provided letters of support to the project, and confirming that other EIT RawMaterials industrial partners with test sites in iron, manganese, bauxite and Ni-laterite mining will be involved.

The objectives of the project are:

  1. Assessment of the potential of combined Sentinel 2 and other sources of remotely sensed data like LANDSAT to evaluate the spatiotemporal distribution of iron oxides containing dust particles
  2. Development of fusion and classification methodologies to take full advantage of the combined Sentinel 2 and other sources of remote sensing data
  3. Definition of future specifications for spaceborne missions to address the needs of environmental monitoring of mining sites, mineral transportation sites (railway, ports, etc.) and storage sites
  4. To explore the potential for sharing remote sensing data with all stakeholders of a mining project through open data platforms (Map-X a joint UNEP-WorldBank initiative for the extractive industry)

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