Illegal mining monitoring is the monitoring of the extraction of mineral resources by an economic entity to ensure compliance with the requirements of the obtained license. This includes verifying the coordinates and dimensions of the licensed area, the volume of production, and monitoring the environmental impact during mining operations. The process involves comparing official databases of mineral extraction facilities (including quarries) with the actual identified sites of mineral use by decoding materials from satellite images and aerial images. It aims to identify instances of illegal mineral use.

The Purpose of Illegal mining monitoring

Using satellite data, specialists from "GEO Innoter" can determine the locations of unregistered areas of Illegal mining solid household waste landfills (TBO), and their accompanying facilities. The type of extraction and the type of mineral resource can be identified. Based on the obtained data, an entire GIS project can be created, containing all the necessary information for analysis and subsequent decision-making.

Satellite imagery enables efficient Illegal mining monitoring, allowing for faster analysis and providing accurate information for actions aimed at eliminating the consequences of illegal activities and land use.

To increase the accuracy of decoding, we utilize a previously accumulated database of decoding references for quarries and similar objects. The references and additional decoding features collected during our work help us execute similar orders with a decoding accuracy of 80% or more (without field surveys).

Field surveys are also conducted, significantly enhancing the project's effectiveness by providing precise laboratory data and evaluating contaminations in the mining areas and the surrounding environment. Our specialists, or local partners' specialists, conduct on-site visits to refine decoded objects, references, and additionally ensure the reliability of data related to objects not subject to field surveys.


Purposes and Objectives of Illegal mining monitoring:

Purpose of Illegal mining Monitoring - to use digital image processing and remote sensing as a tool for monitoring illegal extraction of mineral resources and integrate the obtained data into the monitoring process, enabling regulatory authorities responsible for monitoring to perform their work more effectively and thus help avoid or minimize the negative consequences of illegal mining.

Objectives of Illegal mining Monitoring- to reveal changes in subsoil use areas using remote methods and demonstrate their illegality in relation to the rights holder and Russian legislation.

More specifically, it is necessary to provide evidential proof of the following:

  • Satellite images, obtained at different times in the subsoil use areas, showing changes to assess the legitimacy of the existing extraction technology or violations.
  • Visual changes (spatially).
  • Invisible changes (spectrally).

Types of changes related to mining areas:

  • Opening of underground layers.
  • Movement of material/ore heaps.
  • Identification of new dumps.
  • Identification of changes/alterations in the dump's mineral composition.
  • Vegetation health in disturbed and reclaimed mining areas.
  • Soil degradation.
  • Water quality in lakes and rivers in development areas.
  • Transportation routes for extracted raw materials, track monitoring.
  • Man-made changes.
  • Appearance of unknown structures, new roads, movement of movable structures, etc.
  • Changes in soil-vegetation cover during land use.
  • Other details of changes in mining areas may also be possible.

According to the requirements of the legislation, subsoil within the territory of the Russian Federation, including underground space and mineral resources contained in the subsoil, are state-owned. Issues of ownership, use, and disposal of subsoil are under the joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and its subjects.

Advantages of Using Remote Sensing Data

For the purpose of preventing violations in the field of subsoil use (Illegal mining Monitoring), it is advantageous to use modern remote sensing methods:

The use of satellite imagery allows for complete simultaneous coverage of the territory and environmental assessment not only within individual observation points but also across any selected area.

Remote sensing provides timely mapping of violation boundaries and the state of the territory (thematic mapping) in compressed timeframes, indicating its location in an area of environmental crisis or unsatisfactory (highly unfavorable) state of the environment.

Maps created based on remote sensing data are of significant interest for subsequent assessments of the impact of mineral resource development on soil-vegetation cover and serve as a basis for reclamation planning and monitoring.

Understanding the reasons for variability in vegetation cover allows distinguishing natural and anthropogenic disturbances in ecosystems, which is an important condition for quantitatively assessing the environmental impact caused by mining industry and other developments.

Prices for services

Consultation Free
Selection of images, preliminary analysis, and preparation of technical specifications Free
Ordering Remote Sensing Data (DZD) Images

The cost of Remote Sensing Data materials is calculated individually for each order and may vary:

- using free satellite images

- and/or using commercial satellite or aerial images*
Work of technical specialists and expert(s) From 500,000 RUB
TOTAL COST From 500,000 RUB

* - if the Client does not provide their materials or it is not possible to use free images.

The cost depends on:

  • the complexity of the task;
  • the area of the area of interest (working area);
  • type of imaging - archive/new, free/paid images;
  • number of images;
  • quality characteristics of the images;
  • complexity of the terrain;
  • seasonality of work;
  • size of the advance payment;
  • whether it is necessary to purchase materials or they are provided by the Client;
  • and other factors.

The cost of execution is calculated on an individual basis, taking into account a specific of task.

After receiving the task description, we calculate the cost and send you a commercial offer.

Period of execution

The duration of the work is from 20 working days from the date of receiving the advance payment and is calculated individually for each client.

The duration of the work depends on:

  • the total area of the area of interest;
  • availability of archival Remote Sensing Data materials, the need for new imaging;
  • requirements for Remote Sensing Data materials and the final product.

The timeframe for providing the service depends on the complexity of the work and is calculated individually for each client.

How to place an order:

  • STEP #1: Submit an application on the website with the following information:
    • Location of the research object (coordinates);
    • Questions to be addressed;
    • Dates for which the analysis is required.
  • STEP #2: Agreement on the technical assignment and cost:
    • Research starting from 500,000 RUB;
    • Imagery is paid for separately.
  • STEP #3: Signing the contract and starting the work:
    • Duration is at least 20 working days from the date of receiving the advance payment - payment is accepted only through bank transfer.

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Stages of service provision

Stage #0 (PRE-Contract Phase):

  • Receiving and coordinating data from the Client. It is necessary to agree on the task that requires a solution, the size, nature of the area, and the requirements for creating the product in order to calculate the cost and deadlines for the work.

RESULT: possibility (YES/NO) of providing the service

Stage #1 (PRE-Contract Phase):

  • Agreement on the technical assignment
  • Planning the survey. Determining the boundaries of the investigated area and the surrounding lands.
  • Final determination of labor and material costs, agreement on deadlines and cost.

RESULT: signed contract

Stage #2 (Contract Execution):

  • Conducting satellite imagery, preliminary processing, and delivery of remote sensing data to the Client's area. Image acquisition.
  • Processing of materials to obtain a thematic map of the area.
  • Spatio-temporal analysis of changes in the mining object.
  • Calculation of ecological indicators.
  • Assessment and analysis of the ecological state of the research object.

RESULT: Delivery of materials to the Client

The result of the provision of services

The Client receives a thematic map of the mining object's boundaries as of the date of the latest satellite imagery, which visually and numerically displays areas of pollution, with numerical indicators provided in the technical report. Additionally, more accurate data from UAVs and field surveys can be calculated and added to the map after coordination with the Client. Moreover, a Geographic Information System (GIS) can be created separately for this theme with vectorized layers for further development and monitoring, as per the Client's requirements.

Requirements for Source Data

Accurate geographical coordinates of the object in the required coordinate system (specialists from "GEO INNOTER" will refine the coordinates provided by the Client in any convenient form).


  • GIS - QGIS, ArcGIS, etc.
  • Processing - ERDAS, ENVI SARscape, SNAP, etc.

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Zazulyak Evgeny Leonidovich
The material was checked by an expert
Zazulyak Evgeny Leonidovich
Engineer, 28 years of experience, Education - Moscow Topographic Polytechnic Technical School, St. Petersburg Higher Military Topographic Command School named after Army General A.I. Antonov, Military Engineering University named after V.V. Kuibyshev. Kuibyshev Military Engineering University.



A wide range of methods are used in our work, from manual methods such as photointerpretation, combinations of automatic methods and photointerpretation, to fully automatic methods. Based on the analysis, it was found that different types of classification (supervised, unsupervised, hybrid) are the most appropriate to achieve the result.
A solution related to land classification based on supervised and unsupervised classification. For this purpose, space images were used, which provide spectral signatures (spectral patterns) on the basis of which it is possible to represent changes in mining sites and to judge changes both in the mining area itself and in the environment. Areas not recorded on the imagery - unlicensed or unauthorized - give an indication of the nature and composition of disturbance. At present, for example, conventional panchromatic images, combinations of color compositions and unsupervised classification using neural networks are already being used to sample such areas.
Yes, absolutely. Different images, different electromagnetic bands allow to make the result more detailed, avoid errors in interpretation. And due to the possibility of obtaining separate spectral bands of satellite images, it is also possible to apply the method based on spectral similarity between existing mining areas and the searched new mining areas, as well as to calculate spectral indices and apply fusion methods for different bands.
The creation of so-called time series (analysis of images per area) after scatter analysis of each individual image, combined with the use of bimodal histograms, made it possible to identify unauthorized mining sites with a probability close to 90%. In addition, there are methods based on off-the-shelf algorithms for a specific geographical environment, neighborhood, mine, open pit, excavation, etc. They too have their application in the analyzed subject.
Remote sensing data is utilized for monitoring and detecting illegal mining by capturing changes in land cover, disturbances, and alterations to the natural landscape. Indicators include deforestation, changes in vegetation health, and the appearance of unauthorized mining infrastructure, providing actionable information for authorities.
Satellite sensors such as optical, radar, and multispectral instruments are effective in detecting illegal mining activities. Optical sensors provide high-resolution imagery for visual analysis, while radar sensors penetrate cloud cover and monitor surface changes. Multispectral sensors offer insights into alterations in land cover and vegetation health associated with illegal mining.
The temporal aspect of satellite imagery contributes to monitoring illegal mining by capturing changes over time. Time-series analysis is crucial for identifying patterns and trends, enabling authorities to distinguish between legal and illegal mining activities, track the progression of mining operations, and plan enforcement actions effectively.
Remote sensing technology aids in assessing environmental damage by capturing changes in vegetation cover, soil erosion, and water quality resulting from illegal mining. This information supports environmental conservation efforts by providing data for impact assessments, restoration planning, and enforcement of regulations to mitigate the ecological consequences of illegal mining.
Integrating remote sensing data with GIS technology enhances monitoring and combating illegal mining by providing a geospatial context for analysis. This integration allows authorities to map and visualize illegal mining hotspots, assess the proximity to environmentally sensitive areas, and plan targeted enforcement strategies for effective intervention in areas affected by illegal mining.



It is guaranteed to carry out works in accordance with SNIP, GOST and SP., in accordance with advanced methods and the use of the most modern software.

We guarantee 100% quality of services. Cooperating with GEO Innoter specialists, you exclude risks and losses.

The availability of qualified personnel able to work with specialized software and many years of experience allows us to provide these guarantees!

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