Global Mining and Sustainability: Leveraging Satellite Earth Observation to Monitor Impacts of Mineral Extraction

The mining industry is pivotal to the world’s digital society and is essential for the global energy transition. Despite its significance, spatial data on mining infrastructures are scarce, resulting in more than half of the sector’s impacts being overlooked in global assessments. In this talk, I demonstrate how we have used satellite earth observations to bridge this data gap and significantly enhance our understanding of the impact and risks of the global mining sector. These advancements include delineating the extent of mining land use, quantifying its direct and indirect contributions to deforestation, elucidating the impacts on Earth system processes, and assessing mining’s effects on local economic development. Thus, improving the availability of comprehensive geospatial data on mining through earth observation is crucial. It enhances our understanding of mining effects worldwide and can significantly influence societal outcomes by informing policy and decision-making, particularly due to the expected expansion of mining. Check the Slides 📎.