Rio Tinto has invested in an imaging satellite with numerous benefits for mining. The collaboration is with space data company Pixxel, which will launch the first images from its high-resolution hyperspectral satellite early this year.
This is major endorsement and a great sign for the emerging company, said Pixxel co-founder and chief executive officer Awais Ahmed.
“This partnership will be pioneering in its deployment of hyperspectral satellite imagery for commercial mining operations,” Ahmed said.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Rio Tinto to explore the use of hyperspectral remote sensing technology across their operations at a global scale.”
The satellite will help to identify various objects and materials for mining exploration. This is done by hyperspectral imaging. If the partnership is successful, Pixxel’s satellite could also be used by Rio Tinto to monitor both open and closed mine sites, as well as tracking environmental indicators such as pollution.
Rio Tinto head of exploration Dave Andrews explained the partnership in simple terms.
“Rio Tinto is participating in Pixxel’s Early Adopter Program because we believe that exploration could benefit from more cost-effective and easier access to hyperspectral satellite data,” he said.