Rio Tinto is working with Pixxel to explore the potential of hyperspectral satellite technology

Rio Tinto is working with Pixxel to explore the potential of hyperspectral satellite technology

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  • Posted by Daniel Gleeson on 13th January 2022

  • Pixxel, an edge earth-imaging technology company, has announced an early adoption partnership with Rio Tinto spanning mineral exploration, active and closed mine site monitoring and ESG metrics.

Pixxel’s imaging satellites, capable of 5 m hyperspectral imaging, will help Rio Tinto assess the benefits the technology may provide in these areas, the company said. Rio will begin its assessment of the technology following the release of imagery from Pixxel’s first high-resolution satellite, set to launch early this year.

“Pixxel’s high-resolution hyperspectral satellite imagery has the potential to significantly reduce costs and timelines for exploration and improve monitoring of active and closed mine sites,” the company said. “In the coming months, Pixxel plans to launch a high resolution hyperspectral satellite, which will capture 50x information compared to common multispectral satellites. Rio Tinto will be assessing the potential of Pixxel’s hyperspectral imagery to help reduce the disturbance footprint of exploration activities, monitor the operational and environmental performance of active mining operations, and monitor biodiversity and vegetation health around closed sites.”

This partnership, Pixxel says, validates the potential benefits that its technology may provide to the resources sector.

Pixxel Co-Founder and CEO, Awais Ahmed, said: “This partnership will be pioneering in its deployment of hyperspectral satellite imagery for commercial mining operations. 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.

“Moreover, the exponential leap in image quality (50x more detail than existing multispectral satellite imagery) allows Rio Tinto the ability to assess Pixxel’s imagery for monitoring critical mining operations and make key decisions with sustainability in mind.”

Dave Andrews, Head of Exploration at Rio Tinto, added: “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.”

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