In recent months I have been lucky enough to be involved in the evaluation of underground drone solutions for several projects that have been considering their implementation. The data these systems are able to collect in both stopes (inaccessible once opened) and horizontal drives (accessible drives with suitable ground support), have the ability to add value to many parts of the underground mining cycle.
The following presentation is best delivered with dialog, but raises the main points of value that that underground drones systems deliver:
Some of the value delivered around stope firings include:
- Improved data density and area coverage
- Reduced exposure to stope brow/ unsupported ground
- Data collection of large areas from one single point of insertion
- Reduced interaction with and reliance on mobile equipment
- Improved stope cycle times due to better visibility when bridged/frozen
- Geotechnical analysis available when denser void model analysed (improve recon)
It is fantastic to see that underground drone systems are being implemented across the globe, as not only do they improve safety for the underground survey team but they also deliver significantly improved data sets for better informed decisions. In Australia we now have numerous projects that are utilising drones in an underground setting. Canadian, Africaian and even some European underground projects are reaping the benefits also.
There are primarily two industry leading manufactures of underground drone solutions – the Emesent Hovermap and the Exyn Aero, both of which are available for trial and purchase in Australia. If you require any further information or assistance in the suitability for these systems for your project please get in touch.
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