Earth imaging startup Pixxel has signed global mining group Rio Tinto as an early adopter of its technology. Rio Tinto plans to assess Pixel’s imaging satellites for mineral exploration, monitoring active and closed mine sites. Pixxel, based in Los Angeles and Bengaluru India, plans to launch its first high-resolution hyperspectral satellite early this year. The company said this is a pioneering partnership to use hyperspectral satellite imagery for commercial mining. Rio Tinto will examine if this hyperspectral imagery can reduce the disturbance footprint of exploration activities, monitor the operational and environmental performance of active mining operations, and monitor biodiversity and vegetation health around closed sites.