In brief

  • UK-based Hypervine has partnered with the European Space agency to develop blockchain satellite data for the mining industry
  • More accurate, satellite-sourced data will reduce costs and give companies better oversight of their operations
  • Satellite-based data for mining is a sector experiencing an investment boom, according to ESA

Mining data startup Hypervine is collaborating with the European Space Agency (ESA) to offer the mining and excavation industry accurate satellite-based data using blockchain technology.

Announced on Monday, the aim of the new project is to provide more accurate, satellite-based data, to improve efficiency, sustainability and transparency for the $700 billion mining industry.

Mining firms often spend months obtaining the right data to ensure that their activities are compliant with the stringent rules laid down by local governments. Their sources are often fragmented. 

UK-based Hypervine uses AI and blockchain to streamline this construction and mining data. It collates information from mining, survey and exploration teams on a single platform, eliminating the risk of inaccuracies and small changes being magnified further down the chain

The startup’s CEO and founder, Paul Duddy, said he hopes to eradicate the “catastrophic and sometimes fatal accidents that occur due to mis-recorded data, or lost paperwork.”

Satellite-Sourced mining data combined with blockchain 

The new project will enable the excavation industry to use Hypervine’s platform for satellite sourced data such as topography, liquid, mineral, and density readings—which are key to improved infrastructure planning, and safer and more sustainable processes.

“The use of satellite-based data for mining work is already a sector experiencing huge investment and funding across private and nationalised space programmes,” said Beatrice Barresi, technical officer at ESA Space Solutions.

“It is a core goal of ours to make industries such as quarrying safer, cleaner and more accountable,” she added.

Better planning for excavating a new site, enables excavation companies to reduce costs, and have improved oversight of their operations. It also enables environmental savings through operational efficiencies.

Blockchain for sustainable mining

Sustainable mining (no, not Bitcoin mining) has been a hot topic at environmental conferences recently, with the industry keen to explore blockchain as a trusted method of reporting. 

ESA, a major intergovernmental effort dedicated to space exploration, is increasingly interested in blockchain technology. 

Last year, the agency funded blockchain startup SpaceChain to commercially develop its wallet technology, to mitigate the vulnerability of digital assets when hosted in centralized terrestrial servers. The startup sent its blockchain hardware wallet to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at the end of this year. 

So, while Bitcoin may not be mooning yet, its underlying technology— blockchain—certainly is.