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.
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
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