Thinking about using a drone for mining? Drone survey data is positively transforming mining operations. Traditional surveys are time-consuming, costly, and sometimes dangerous.
Advances in technology have made drones an affordable survey solution that forward-thinking mining companies are using to track progress and manage run of mine (ROM) volumes; promote safety and sustainability, and collaborate effectively.
Surveying by drone is simple and cost-effective, giving survey teams access to more data more often to enable better decision-making and create efficiencies on the job site. Read on to find out how drone surveys, coupled with the Propeller Aero drone data processing platform, are revolutionizing the mining industry.
One of the most important ways drone data analytics can streamline workflows is how it improves run of mine (ROM) volumes. By frequently surveying using a drone, mining companies can quickly and easily calculate accurate volumes, improving ROM management with more consistent grades. The result is increased accuracy and increased safety.
Mine operators using drone data processed by the Propeller Platform can easily monitor ROM volumes, ensuring that correct grade blends are going through the mill. After flying the site, data is processed in the Propeller Platform within 24 hours, providing renderings you can use to measure stockpile volumes and road grades.
Another way that drone survey data enables progress tracking is by offering a bird’s eye view of blast areas. You’re able to fly your whole site or target areas for pre-blast planning or ROM management using 3D renderings prepared by Propeller to quickly calculate levels. Overall, drone survey data makes it easy for you to monitor mine productivity and mill quality, helping you stay on track.
In any mining operation, safety must be the number one priority. Accurate, up-to-date drone surveys eliminate the need for in-person inspections, helping teams on the ground avoid hazards that are commonplace in any mining operation.
Frequent 3D surveys also allow mining companies to measure haul roads, ensuring they conform to acceptable safety standards in terms of both grades and windrow heights. With the help of Propeller’s drone data survey solution, you don’t have to complete these inspections in person.
You can visually inspect your site from any browser-enabled device, allowing you to make adjustments to promote safety at your mine.
Propeller also enables fixed plant and pit face inspections in just a few clicks. In addition, 3D surveys streamline both short- and long-term traffic management, providing accurate, up-to-date visuals of assets, past vehicle movement, and existing roads.
The mining industry is heavily regulated and for good reason—irresponsible mining can cause massive long-term damage to the surrounding environment. Today, sustainable practices are not just an option—in many cases, investors are actively looking to support sustainable operations.
Not only are stakeholders paying attention, but sustainable concerns are also top of mind for customers, local communities, and mine workers. From checking runoff to waste dump conformance, drones are helping mining companies follow code in their day-to-day operations.
1. Avoid environmental fines
Drone surveying provides a quick analysis of earthworks, stockpile volumes, positioning of the equipment, and surface cracks. While mines are operational, drone survey data helps you keep track of no-go zones, so you can avoid any fines associated with encroachment.
It also enables better water management, keeping erosion under control. After operations have concluded at the mine, drone surveying monitors the remediation process and provides visual evidence that operators have properly closed the mine.
2. Keep road grades consistent
Drone data also promotes sustainability by reducing fuel burn. Experienced mine managers know that even minor alterations to haul roads not only wear out your equipment sooner but also have a major impact on the fuel you use in your day-to-day workflows. With accurate 3D surveys, you can ensure haul roads meet both safety and efficiency requirements, reducing fuel burn and your overall carbon footprint.
Enabling effective collaboration
Propeller’s platform enables painless collaboration with a single source of truth, ensuring the workers on the Jobsite and leaders in the office have access to the information they need to keep projects on time, on budget, and within specifications.
Whether you or your team need to determine whether estimates are correct, or you want to make sure the right grades are going through your mill, you can do it all in the Propeller Platform. It’s never been easier to connect what’s going on in the office to what’s going on at the Jobsite.
Drone data creates efficiencies at mines around the world
Mining companies around the world are using drone data analytics and Propeller’s drone data processing platform to create efficiencies on the job site that save time and money while also promoting safety and sustainability. Accurate data helps teams work and plan with confidence, providing an up-to-date look at the status of a mine at all steps of its life cycle.