Case Studies

Maxar imagery tracks environmental impact of mine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 1

Maxar imagery tracks environmental impact of mine Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, New Caledonia is widely known for its rich biodiversity. Its rare landforms and micro-climates make it home to a variety of one-of-a-kind botanical species that are unique to the island. New Caledonia is also the world's fih largest producer of nickel, a valuable mineral extracted primarily by environmentally hazardous strip mining techniques. Accounting for nearly 10 percent of the country's GDP and representing over 90 percent of its exports, the mining of nickel is crucial to the New Caledonian economy. But nickel mining has had an adverse impact on the country's fragile environment, resulting in a significant loss of wetlands and the choking of rivers and streams from the waste and sediment produced by the mines. Thio, a rural region that covers 1,000 km² and is home to four villages with just over 3,000 inhabitants, is experiencing the impact. "Thio's economy is almost exclusively dependent on nickel mining," says Rémi Andreoli, head of space applications for Maxar information partner Bluecham SAS. "The Thio Town Council approached us for a solution to track the environmental impact of the open air nickel mine that spans a number of mountaintops just outside the town center." The impact of nickel mining BLUECHAM/THIO TOWN COUNCIL WorldView-2 imagery procured High-resolution satellite imagery was the ideal solution to monitor the status of mine waste discharges and sediment patches damaging the Thio River, as well as to identify areas prone to natural landslides and erosion. Bluecham SAS provided the Town Council with WorldView-2 imagery and analysis services for the task. "WorldView-2 provides several distinct advantages in this environment," Andreoli explains. "The high resolution imagery is able to both identify underwater sediment banks in the Thio River and all its small creeks and tributaries, as well locate areas where mountain slides have taken place or could be prone to future slides." company information Working in concert with the University of Strasbourg and the France-based National Center for Spatial Studies, Maxar information partner Bluecham SAS is a science and engineering firm specializing in making knowledge related to a territory through data interfacing and integration using real-time satellite data analysis. case study THIO N E W C A L E D O N I A

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Case Studies - Maxar imagery tracks environmental impact of mine