Enhanced Pollution Monitoring (EPM)

Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM), Abandoned Mines and Repositories (AMR), whether legal or illegal, are associated with negative environmental, social-economic and socio-cultural impacts. Despite regulations, bans, complaints, encouraging cooperatives and associations, in many locations ASMs are continuously and rapidly expanding out of control. At the same time, abandoned mines and repositories – contaminating water, soil, and infrastructures with dissolved metals and acidity – are often disregarded.

EPM’s overall objectives are to provide customized remote sensing services aiming:

  • To map ASMs, monitor their expansions and assess environmental impacts;
  • To map AMRs, monitor mine/repository stability and assess environmental impacts.
  • Moreover, since regulators – within the national legal framework – are also responsible for ensuring compliance of Large Scale Mining (LSM), products verifying mining operations conformity are additionally considered.

Who are the users?

  • Regulators responsible for ensuring compliance of ASMs and LSMs with national legal frameworks.
  • Non-Governmental Organizations working on national and international levels and including watchdog organizations that critically monitor mining activities.
  • Consulting companies in the domain of treatment of mine wastes and remediation.
  • Multi-disciplinary consulting companies offering services in the fields of applied environmental and social sciences.
  • ASM certification bodies developing standards to transform ASMs into a sustainable and responsible activity.
  • Non-for-profit and membership organizations developing standards within the mining industry are to be approached as key representatives for technology and service validation.

The service

Overall, the service

  • provides objective and detailed information of:
    • location and extent of artisanal mines,
    • amount and area of the artisanal mines within the extent,
    • on-going activities,
    • environmental impact,
  • regularly update the status;
  • identify anomalous land cover changes which could deal with the development on new mining activities;
  • monitor anomalous land displacements in particular of tailing dams;
  • backtrack mining history of repositories and LSMs.

Eleven mining demonstration cases are presented and discussed in the  EPM leaflet

The team – sarmap, Cole BakerAssociés, CreaLinQ

Contact – Francesco Holecz, fholecz@sarmap.ch