With a steady decline in mineral pricing impacting on the profitability and sustainability of mining operations throughout Australia, mine operators are constantly looking for ways to safely improve productivity and reduce costs, whilst honouring their commitment to managing the environmental impacts of exploration, and meeting community expectations in terms of preserving Australia’s unique heritage.
GPS assisted Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) with collision protection and active camera stabilisation are proving themselves invaluable tools in helping mine operators cut costs, deliver efficiencies and save time. Allowing surveyors to collect accurate spatial data from above means fewer man-hours are required to produce large, accurate data sets, boosting productivity. Surveying projects that once took days or weeks using traditional surveying techniques are now possible in just a few hours.
Furthermore, given a UAV’s ability to collect data from above, the downtime associated with surveyors moving around a pit using terrestrial surveying instruments, is eliminated. Drone-based data collection also improves safety by vastly reducing the time workers spend on site.
During and post-flight, footage can be processed through our specialist software tools to produce Ortho-mosaics, digital surface models and three-dimensional representations of mine sites, which can then be viewed and annotated, without the need for specialist software on the customer side.
Engineers can use this data to measure distances (m), areas (m2), stockpile volumes (m3), create polygons, place identifying markers, identify latent machinery and add annotations using a standard browser, that can then easily be shared and commented on.
Airborne thermal imaging cameras also present opportunities to mine operators to track and monitor equipment movements, inspect machinery and identify equipment that is overheating, detect ground water inflow and even conduct search and rescue operations.
With dozens of potential uses and applications covering long-term and short-term planning; drill and blast management; geology and hydrology management; construction planning, monitoring and reporting; mineral exploration modelling and calculations; heritage and environmental management reporting; and legal and community communications support, mining operations throughout Australia have countless opportunities to explore the time and cost saving opportunities benefits of UAV’s.
Using one of National Drones’ fully insured, licensed and experienced UAV operators to conduct these operations means mine sites can start to immediately realise the benefits to cut costs, deliver efficiencies and save time, without having to procure their own equipment, or submit an application for an Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).