How the mining industry can use drones
by Aratrika Dutta
August 9, 2021
Extraction processes are very labor intensive, requiring huge investments to verify worker safety. Mining industries are looking for new technologies to reduce costs and improve worker productivity and safety. Drones are one such technology that can be applied at mining sites, making on-site activities much safer and more productive. Drones in mining increase the overall productivity of large mining sites and quarry management by providing exact and complete details of data in a very short time. This data can be safely produced by on-site workers with little surveying experience at a fraction of the cost of traditional survey methods.
Across the mining industry, drones are showing surprising results in enabling much greater data collection, improving safety and increasing productivity. The popularity of drone technology in the mining industry has increased dramatically in recent years.
In mining, drones have various applications such as surveying mines, managing inventory, assessing inventory and identifying hot spots, etc. Drones are such technologies that can access hard-to-reach areas and provide better information for mine planning.
How can drones be used in the mining industry?
On-site security management
Drones can be implemented to accumulate visual data of volatile and complex areas that include high terrain, ridges, high walls, etc. In addition, the technology can be used to collect aerial data that will help reduce the risk of exposure to the ground.
Maintaining structural cohesion
Drones can be used to measure tailings dams which would eliminate the risk of manual surveying. With the introduction of drones, there will no longer be a need for manual surveys. By scanning the captured data on a digital platform, mining industries can maintain the structural cohesion of the tailings facility, plan for expansion and avoid failures.
Time-saving process for surveying and mapping
In the mining industry, surveying and mapping mineral landscapes is time consuming. By implementing drones and a drone pilot as an alternative to a manned aircraft, mining industries can save around 90% of the cost per hour and accumulate large amounts of aerial data.
Monitoring and inspection
Mining is one of the most dangerous industries for workers, especially those who work deep. Workers can be subjected to falling rocks, extremely humid conditions, gas leaks, dust explosions or flooding, among other hazards. Therefore, drones can be used by mining industries to monitor and ensure the safety of deep underground workers.
One of the biggest challenges any mining industry faces when managing inventory is its extreme height and area, which is volatile. Drones allow mining industries to produce aerial terrain models of the inventory.
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