AUSTRALIA'S Sandpit Innovation has partnered with global defence service provider Lockheed Martin to develop an advanced reconciliation service called mineRECON. The subscription service leverages space-based satellite imagery and advanced analytics to accurately perform material reconciliations throughout complex mining operations. The service is contiguous, competitive, accurate and reliable against other reconciliation methods.

Leveraging Lockheed Martin's 20 years of experience in complex data processing and geospatial imagery, mineRECON has the tools and techniques currently used in defence applications to automatically process various types of satellite imagery and produces rapid reconciliation reports. This is providing a new level of speed and cost-effectiveness for organizations.

While the application of satellite imagery is new to mining, the technology is well-proven, low risk and continues to rapidly evolve. Currently, nine commercial satellites send back high-resolution imagery to the earth. By the end of 2015, the number of high-resolution imagery satellites is projected to exceed 40 and by 2017, that number is projected to exceed 75.

"A significant difference in mineRECON, outside of measuring material from space, is the fact we provide full custom reconciliation reports, including volume reports based on operational requirements, change detection mapping and filtration, 3D modelling as well as the Digital Elevation Modelling data. We are not simply providing the image data. More to the point we do all of this at a cost comparable to image capture only services," says Sandpit Innovation director Aaron Carter.

"Satellite imagery is collected in under 10 minutes and clearly this occurs without any interaction on site. Unlike other methods it is non-intrusive and eliminates all HSE risks. Advanced processing techniques then allow accurate and repeatable elevation data to be extracted along with change detection and image filtration to produce superior volume calculations."