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Drones Report

Drones in Mining - Thematic Research

How can mining companies benefit from drone technology?

Productivity improvements come from using drone technology in surveying and 3D mapping, with a drone and drone pilot replacing a pilot and plane at one-tenth of the cost per hour.

Safety is enhanced by using drones for regular inspection of deep shafts, given deep underground shafts are vulnerable to rock falls, humid conditions, and dust explosions, amongst other hazards.

Drone technology is also being used for blasting and ensuring all staff are clear before blasting activities begin.

  • What you need to know...
  • Underground drones are being used to explore and map mines and underground environments using autonomous technology
  • Significant improvements in the accuracy of data collected by drones has been reported, compared to other means, and similarly impressive reductions in labour costs as individual drones can cover a significant amount of land
  • Human workers are now being trained to operate drones from a safe location, rather than enter mines themselves to conduct resource estimates, paving the way for operations to become significantly safer

With drone technology capable of collecting unlimited aerial data, engineers are now able to record and track more information in far less time, and therefore focus their efforts on analysis and interpretation. Companies are able to effectively gauge stockpiles and tailings dam measurements, enabling quicker decision-making and enhanced productivity.

Drones are also being used in the maintenance of haulage roads by constantly monitoring haulage trucks, road conditions and blockages.

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