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Savant (Metals Smelting Insight)

The challenge of metals smelting insight

Stakeholders in the metals smelting supply chain face difficult challenges obtaining accurate, timely and reliable information about smelting activity across the globe.

Earth Observation is particularly well suited to global production monitoring.  Satellite data can be passed through a series of automated processing steps to detect and measure the characteristic operational fingerprints of individual production sites.  This gives stakeholders a reliable, timely source of insight without them having to be technology experts.

Read our use-case on Earth Observation for production monitoring

The Savant service

Savant provides indicators of smelter activities around the globe, in an easy-to-understand format, covering multiple metals and minerals.

Data is collected and analysed using advanced algorithms derived from Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques. Data is taken from several different Earth Observation satellites and our global and regional indices are updated daily to give consistent, insightful and dependable results.

The Savant Indices

Two types of indices are provided:

  • one to show smelter activity levels
  • one to detect periods of shutdown or inactivity.


The data can be broken down to offer more granular detail, including information on the activity of individual smelters.

SAVANT also offers detailed smelter history going back several years, allowing a comparison between empirical data and public announcements relating to smelter shutdown periods.

Global coverage

Earth-I monitors every known, significant copper and nickel smelter globally (95% of global capacity). Those that pass Earth-i’s quality assurance are included in the SAVANT indices (for example, covering 70% of global copper smelting capacity and 85% of Chinese capacity, based on International Copper Study Group figures.)

Space Data transformed by Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence

The satellite data collected goes through a series of automated processing steps to detect and measure the characteristic operational fingerprints of each individual production site. This can vary with factors such as site layout and smelting technology, so each site undergoes characterisation mapping that is constantly updated.

The Inactive capacity index

Our algorithms derive whether characteristic smelting activity is happening at each smelter and aggregates this into global, regional and country Inactive Capacity indices. These determine if activity is taking place.

The dispersion index

The dispersion indices measure how active the smelters are and are calculated by weighting and counting the areas of activity (hotspots) that are derived at each smelter.

An overall picture of smelter activity is thus built into our smelting indices, driven by the activity characteristics of each smelter in the index. Available smelting capacity and activity levels can therefore be derived and studied from a global level down to individual smelters, even in opaque markets such as China.


The SAVANT Copper service includes:

  • 97% of China capacity
  • 88% of Global capacity
  • 82% Rest of World (RoW) excluding China

The SAVANT Nickel service includes:

  • 98% of China capacity
  • 96% of Global capacity
  • 95% Rest of World (RoW) excluding China
  • 94% of Indonesia capacity

All data is:

  • Updated daily
  • Analysis ready data back to 2016
  • API Access, MS Excel Add-In and CSV download

Read about the Savant R&D Project

The Savant service was born from an R&D project conducted with ESA and Marex Spectron.  Find out more.

Download the brochure

For further, more detailed information about the SAVANT service, please download the brochure below

Download Our Brochure

A free trial of the SAVANT service is available!

The trial includes:

  • Access to the SAVANT portal
  • Global Copper and Nickel Smelting indices
  • Daily updates (with two-week delay)
  • Historic data back to 2016

Table of Contents

Get in touch

Need some help finding the answers?

Would you like to share your Earth Observation requirements with us? Or discuss the possibility of using satellite imagery to solve challenges within your business?

Submit an RFP
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Use Cases


Earth Observation is used where decision-making requires insight about things that happen in remote locations, across multiple locations or over broad areas; often across the globe.  This geospatial insight typically involves changes that happen over time.

Case Studies


Earth-i has a long history of successful projects.  Here is a selection of case studies

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