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m4mining: Multi-scale, Multi-sensor Mapping and dynamic Monitoring for sustainable extraction and safe closure in Mining environments

Project description

Remote sensing for dynamic monitoring of mining activities

Earth observation data from remote sensing and ground-based platforms are not only indispensable for mineral exploration: continuous monitoring of mining activities reduces accidents, health risks and damage to ecosystems. The EU-funded m4mining project proposes to develop a remote sensing system aboard unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The system will integrate light detection and ranging (lidar), hyperspectral, navigation, computing systems and telemetry to acquire high-resolution oblique data of mine faces and by-products, which will also directly link to satellite-based algorithms. Another key feature will be its ability to directly process and convey spectral and lidar data to on-site users while the UAV is in flight, thus facilitating workflows and decision-making in the case of risk management.


The m4mining project aims to provide an integrated remote sensing approach for mapping and monitoring active and inactive mining sites. Hyper- and multispectral imaging combined with 3D surface measurement will be utilised for material identification from the detailed mine face to the site scale using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and satellite sensors. Central to the proposed work is a synergistic unification of UAV and satellite-based processing algorithms, workflows and decision-making tools at timescales required to impact active operations and environmental and risk management of tailings and waste sites.

A novel UAV system will combine hyperspectral, lidar, navigation, on-board computing systems and telemetry to acquire high-resolution oblique datasets from mine faces and tailings. Key innovations will be dynamic processing of spectral and lidar data, communicating initial results to on-site users, allowing interactive presentation and decision-making while the UAV is in flight. In addition, high quality results be rapidly available for integration with site-scale satellite workflows and enhanced classification algorithms. This combined approach offers a step-change in active mine operations and tailings management, paving the way for novel products and services. New applications include improved sorting of material during extraction, material quality assessment, re-mining of secondary raw materials, as well as monitoring environmental impact. m4mining will contribute to reduced energy consumption through faster response times for mine operators and will impact digitalisation of mining. The main result will be technology validation in operational environments: three sites in EU and key EU raw materials import markets will be used, in Cyprus, Greece and Australia.

The project consortium is established from internationally leading commercial hardware and software providers, research groups in technology and applications in mining, and public stakeholders.



Net EU contribution
€ 1 332 890,63
Nygardsgaten 112
5838 Bergen

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Norge Vestlandet Vestland
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (7)

Partners (1)