Introduction

Professionals integrate drones into their mining operations and quickly realize the significant value they bring to their industry.

Namely, drones in mining increase the overall progress of the large mine sites and quarry management by offering correct and comprehensive information detailing site conditions in very less time. They also go with good coordination among teams onsite, offering dynamic oversight of all operations. Above all, this information can be safely produced by workers who have minimum surveying experience at a fraction of the cost of traditional survey methods.

What are drones used for mining?

Stockpile management

Since stockpiles are by nature irregular in shape and exhibiting craters, it is difficult to estimate their volume with great precision using traditional methods such as surveying. These slow and costly methods also prohibit frequent surveys and can even threaten the surveyor’s safety, as they must climb up and down stockpiles or work in the middle of moving machinery.

Better inventory and financial data

Drone images can be used to produce point clouds, digital surface models, digital terrain models (DTM) and a 3D reconstruction of mining sites. As the point cloud contains several thousand data points, very accurate volume calculations can now be performed easily. This enables high-accuracy calculation of stockpile value for monthly reconciliations or year-end audits, which improves the consistency of inventory reports in the company’s balance sheet. Drone results and post-processing software are impartial, you can also be certain with the amount of material moved by subcontractors.

More and better information for monthly or quarterly management

Given the speed with which inventory surveys can now be performed with drones, regular data collection is proving cost-effective; whether it is weekly, monthly or quarterly. In particular, it allows a better forecast of the available mineral stock for sale. You have the ability to run regular information collections, you can implement an inventory and operational management while eliminating the risks that surveyors working physically on the site face.

Background

When it comes to amending the management of your survey, accurate geospatial data is essential and hence UAV survey is used to improve efficiency and cost. Drones are safer and faster as compared to traditional ground-based surveys. Effective mine planning and monitoring with UAV solutions allow for level planning using elevated maps, examining stockpiles, haul roads and lease land using orthophoto.

The client came up with a mining lease that gives the owner an exclusive right to mine for minerals over a specific area of land. Airpix drones gathered accurate pictures for the creation of elevation maps and orthomosaics. Usually, the client wanted to know more about the mining bench line. To help them determine if any of benches need to be pit more. UAVs make it easier to monitor the work on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Airpix Proprietary Drone

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