A start-up founded by two Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) research students is tapping rapidly improving satellite imaging technology to monitor the progress of mine site rehabilitation.
Envirometrics.io is one of 12 UQ start-ups recently awarded $10,000 equity-free funding through the university’s 2021 Venture ilab Accelerator Program.
Founded by Roger Tang and Imam Purwadi from SMI’s Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, Envirometrics.io is behind the new product known as Mine-R.
Mr Tang said Mine-R would help companies achieve their environmental goals.
“Mine-R is really about supporting the mining industry by offering a product that encourages sustainable practices but which is also financially viable,” he said.
“Not so long ago the resolution on satellite imagery was around one pixel per 5m, which you really couldn’t do much with, but that has already been brought down to about one pixel per 0.5m.
“At that resolution we are able to pull valuable information on the progress of rehabilitation from images, such as vegetation cover, tree density and land displacement.
“We are not trying to replace the traditional approach to rehabilitation monitoring – it is more accurate to use drone imaging or, better yet, a team of environmental scientists – but we are focusing on rapid reporting of the bigger picture to make strategic decisions faster.
“Mine-R also has the potential to alleviate the logistical and financial burden placed on governments by their obligation to rehabilitate abandoned mines.”
Mr Tang said Envirometrics.io hoped to work with an industry partner and have a minimum viable product ready within the next year.