The use of drones to conduct large scale vegetation surveys to guide mine site restoration

Mitch’s current work is focused on using drones to set restoration standards for the Ranger Uranium Mine, which is surrounded by the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park.

The mine is set for restoration within the next decade, and the restoration will need to be assessed against data from surrounding reference sites. Mitch is working with SMI staff and the Department of the Environment and Energy to establish large scale reference sites to guide and assess the restoration of the Ranger site.


Mitch has worked extensively in Australia’s Top End, mainly in savanna ecology and mine site environmental monitoring. After completing his undergraduate science degree at Sydney University, Mitch moved to Darwin for a role in consultancy where he worked in stream hydrography, water quality monitoring, groundwater monitoring and contaminant load assessments.

Mitch then undertook an honours project with Charles Darwin University to investigate the links between the savanna carbon cycle and the shallow groundwater. Most recently, he worked with the Supervising Scientist Branch of the Department of the Environment and Energy, where he helped to develop a drone and ground based monitoring program for reference vegetation communities.


Professor Peter Erskine