UAV/UAS industry is growing in very speed, and it is often difficult for mining businesses to keep up. In fact it has been said that a “drone year” is the equivalent of one work schedule month due to the pace of change the market is experiencing. However, despite the difficulty of staying abreast of changes, drones offer incredible potential to transform the mining industry. Therefore, it is critical for mine operators, entrepreneurs, and investors to better understand this new and emerging technology.
UAVs are transforming the mining field into an emerging frontier for new technological innovation, and in recent years possess helped the industry find cheaper and less dangerous ways to map deposit sites and explore for minerals. With the ability to monitor stockpiles, map exploration targets and track equipment, the potential applications for drones in the mining industry .Therefore, are generally practically limitless. UAVs offer tremendous efficiency and cost advantages in every part of the mining life cycle including exploration, planning/permitting, mining operations and reclamation.
Payloads technology – the amount of weight and equipment a drone can be designed with – is advancing rapidly also. Tasks that were hard to achieve even a 1 ago are possible with the latest drone models, with some of the biggest gains being seen in the agricultural industry; however, the mining and mineral exploration industry is not far behind. It is amazing that the changes drones are bringing to mining right now are taking spot in an industry that dismissed this technology as a mere trend just a few years ago. To a great extent, this usage growth has become fueled by the enthusiasm with which investors have supported drone start-up companies.
One of the most important benefits of using UAVs is the cost. Far cheaper than standard manned aviation platforms, drones are reshaping the way that all of these businesses study new areas, providing better results for a fraction of the price. The adoption of drones for business reasons is rising quickly and can save businesses significant amounts of money while producing unique, beneficial and task critical outcomes. For example, drones can map an area in high definition in less than a day, typically a couple of hours. The cameras on today’s drones have also took advantage of current advancements in small, high-resolution sensors.
Additionally, miniaturization of other elements such as GPS and computer boards offers contributed to the modern UAV’s utility in the industry by making the UAVs lighter and therefore in a position to fly for longer times and cover more terrain per flight. Due to the unmanned nature of a drone it can fly close to the ground, that allows unequalled image resolution. Alternatively, classic manned aerial survey aircraft need cameras with extremely high resolution because they fly at elevations of 2000-5000 ft above the survey area. Drones can fly at 250 ft with a lower resolution camera camera and get much better data.
UMT developed UAV-based magnetic survey system flying up to 2 hours in 2018. In 2019 UMT going to solve new challenges on the market and become one the big UAV-based geophysics survey provider to the mining and exploration industry worldwide today.