Systems for Monitoring Illicit Extraction and Transport of Natural Resources for Law Enforcement and Intelligence Applications




  • Violent Environments and Infrastructures

The main objective of the SYMIN project is to provide timely information for the Afghan ministry of mines about informal mining activities, covering a range of settings with artisanal mining for metals, coal, gold, gemstones as well as quarries in prior defined areas within the country. The intended service will locate, map and monitor small-scale and artisanal mining (ASM) activities with very high resolution data. 
In many countries, information about ASM is largely incomplete and, as a consequence, ASM activities remain informal and outside of governmental supervision and regulation. Especially in remote, poorly accessible or security sensitive areas, satellite-based remote sensing is the most efficient tool for area-wide mapping and monitoring.
The intended service will provide up-to-date reconnaissance maps and dossiers with a description of current mining activities as well as with analyses of temporal changes during the project’s life time. The service provision will be accompanied by capacity building, including training of ministry staff at GAF premises concerning EO, GIS and policy support.

Project Leader

Project Team


  • European Space Agency (ESA)

Duration of project