Efforts to clarify and secure the property rights of artisanal miners are often hampered by a lack of accurate geologic information. Results have shown that miners are reluctant to purchase, lease, or register parcels if they do not know how many diamonds each plot is likely to yield. Linking information on parcels to geological data showing the probable presence of alluvial diamonds can create powerful incentives for miners to enter the formal legal system. But geologic surveys can be expensive and difficult to conduct, especially in remote areas.
In Forécariah, Guinea, the PRADD project is employing an innovative approach to solve this problem. The PRADD team is working with the Government of Guinea and the local community to conduct terrain analysis and produce maps of the most likely locations of diamond deposits using a remote-controlled mini-helicopter. The mini-helicopter uses GPS and a camera to collect high-resolution aerial photos and videos through a process developed by USGS to map the elevation and terrain, which can lead to a better understanding of where diamonds may be found.
Release Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014