Remote sensing and detection of mineral deposits

Remote sensing is a powerful tool that helps identify new targets for mineral exploration. Satellite imagery can be used to locate mineral deposits, reducing exploration costs and making it easier to signal drilling targets. Modern satellites have a precision capable…

Remote sensing is a powerful tool that helps identify new targets for mineral exploration. Satellite imagery can be used to locate mineral deposits, reducing exploration costs and making it easier to signal drilling targets.

Modern satellites have a precision capable of determining mineral exploration targets using mineral reflection. This characteristic property of metals makes it possible to identify areas of hydrothermal change and anomalous concentrations, enabling remote sensing.

The use of multispectral images recorded by satellites has proven to be a valuable data mining technique for various natural resource research applications.

Field exploration based on geological maps and physical soil surveys is no longer the only alternative to locating mineral deposits on the planet.

The evolution of computer processing power, combined with the development of remote sensing, allows the creation of models in a geographic information systems (GIS) environment capable of accurately positioning targets of geological importance. Image processing in mineral exploration is extremely important, especially in the exploration phase but also in the later stages of sediment modelling.

How Remote Sensing Can Monitor Gold Mines
How Remote Sensing Can Monitor Gold Mines

Image processing is part of the daily life of mineral exploration companies because it is an excellent candidate for areas that are likely to be mineralized. Satellite imagery helps geologists and engineers working in the mining sector, being an excellent support tool that reduces time and financial costs in locating minerals, identifying routes and planning mineral exploration infrastructure.

The different types of sensors available today enable the creation of digital elevation models (DEMs), mapping of geological structures, the creation of pre-field maps, and the identification of relief forms and logistical planning.

The spectral signature is the hallmark of each metal that reflects or absorbs sunlight and can be recorded by airborne or orbital sensors. With the help of different spectral signature libraries, it is possible to identify anomalous areas of concentration of metals or groups of metals. Based on this technique, it is possible to recognize structural changes in the ground through the reflection of minerals and plants.

This modern technology has the ability to recognize different types of mineral deposits through statistical modeling techniques.

Through mathematical equations, areas rich in iron, zinc, tin and several other minerals can be distinguished that can be concentrated on the surface of the earth due to weather factors, forming real deposits of these materials both on the surface and underground.

In the case of different wavelengths, mapping is able to identify the properties of different variation minerals associated with deep deposits, thus enabling the vectors of these areas of change to be tracked, and to direct information to mineralized objects.

It is also possible to use geophysical data obtained through aerial surveys to supplement information received from satellites. Products generated from gravity measurement, radiation emission (gamma spectrometry) and magnetic surveys are used as widely as previous data, and are almost always evidence of whether or not there is a potential metallic object in the region.

WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF MINESAT’S MINERAL SCAN PRO I (MSPI) PROGRAM, IT BECAME POSSIBLE TO LINK CERTAIN TYPES OF VEGETATION TO THE PRESENCE OF CERTAIN MINERALS, THEREFORE, THE DETERMINATION OF MINERALS IN SOME SEDIMENTS IS ASSOCIATED WITH SOIL ANOMALIES AND THESE ANOMALIES CAN BE REFLECTED IN THE TYPE OF VEGETATION.

MSPI software processes data obtained by a group of satellites that use different angles to capture images, enabling spectral signature determination of ions and pixel changes for subsequent analysis, enabling the remote location of new mineral deposits.

Satellite imagery also informs geologists, scientists and exploration managers, allowing the interpretation of wavelengths through near-infrared, short infrared and thermal infrared radiation to identify differences in structural features on Earth’s surface that cannot be seen with the human eye. MSPI software assigns a specific molecular formula to each mineral, pinpointing the exact location of the metals.

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