The mining industry was an early adopter of RPAS. Now it is rapidly developing applications for drone technology across the whole range of mining services such as pre-mine development, operations, and post-mining environmental assessment and rehabilitation.
Benefits for mining safety include monitoring and early warning delivery regarding mining blast activity as well as the potential deployment into mine sites of ‘land drones’ or autonomous drovers to deliver emergency and first responder kits to emergency situations. Mine sites often have complex road safety issues, including the monitoring of large scale trucking, which can be made simpler and safer using drone ‘overwatch’.
Other RPAS applications include the use of the latest imaging and sensing technologies integrated with big data streaming for reviewing mining compliance issues, inspecting overhead towers, measuring stockpiles, delivering mine samples from remote regions, and multi-use of 3D mapping.