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Space and Mining Industry Collaborating to Explore Battery Mineral Extraction Sites with Satellites

With transport being the UK’s biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, the transition from conventional engines to Electric Vehicles (EVs) is imperative but will bring an unprecedented increase in demand for battery metals. The Satellite Applications Catapult is leading on a space and mining industry collaboration that will use satellite data combined with advanced analytics to increase the identification of these metals both in the UK and internationally.

Satellites for Batteries, one of 21 projects recently announced by the UK Space Agency’s National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP), will look to create a cost-effective and environmentally conscious solution for exploration, following on from a previous research study in 2018.

Decision Lab will be working together with Satellite Applications Catapult who lead the project, alongside the innovative mineral exploration company Cornish Lithium, leading space technology companies CGG Satellite Mapping, Terrabotics, and Pixalytics, with support from University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines and British Geological Survey.

The team will be exploring the use of remote sensing with other data to generate a prospectivity map within part of Cornwall. Additional software developments will bring automation to the workflows and machine learning algorithms. Through this, the project aims to identify new target areas for battery metal extraction to meet the growing demand for critical minerals.

Alastair Lees, Head of Extractive Industries at the Satellite Applications Catapult said: “This innovative and exciting collaboration between the space and mining industries will harness the insights provided by satellite data and advanced analytics to help identify potential locations of battery metals in Cornwall. By creating opportunities in the UK and internationally to improve the way mining companies locate these critical minerals, it will also support the UK’s green recovery and 2030 commitments to CO2 reduction.”

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “We want the UK to be a world leader in space technology which is why we are supporting our most ambitious innovators who are developing first of a kind technologies to help solve some of our greatest challenges.

This funding will unshackle our most entrepreneurial space scientists so that they can transfer their revolutionary ideas into world class products and services, while helping to boost the UK economy.”

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Decision Lab
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