The International Data Corporation (IDC) released findings not too long ago that revealed a few of the top strategic objectives for mining operations. Safety improvement, automation of assets and mine operations management were among the top items on that list, and it’s not a stretch to say that UAVs can and are having a major impact on all of those areas.

As we’ve seen in other industries, drones can make a difference in mining by reducing or eliminating the cost of manned flight while also easing or wholly eliminating safety concerns. Specific to the mining industry though, UAVs can effect procedures around drilling & blasting, hydrology, mineral exploration, construction and plenty more. The videos in the list below highlight how they’re able to make an impact in various ways.

With one hour of video being uploaded to YouTube every second, we’ve undoubtedly missed out on some great video resources, so please let us know via Twitter or email which videos can and should be included in Part 2.


Using an Autonomous eBee Drone for Mining Exploration – senseFly

This is a video from senseFly, which might make some leery since most videos from drone makers feature flashy music and footage that doesn’t do much beyond illustrate their products’ capabilities. “Show, don’t tell,” is the advice for anyone who wants their audience to have an experience, and it’s something few company videos can actually provide. Thankfully, senseFly comes through here with a genuine video experience.

Instead of a senseFly representative, this video gives us Dave Cox from Ground Truth Exploration who details how his company utilizes a mapping drone to prospect for minerals in Canada. He talks through the logistics around how the drone is used, what sort of issues it solves for them, how it’s opened up opportunities for them and plenty more. The entire time he’s talking we also get to see footage, stills and data that provide an even clearer picture of what he’s explaining.

The video could have been cut down a bit, as some of the info Cox shares goes into more depth than is really necessary. Of course, when we’re talking about a video that features too much insight we’re truly splitting hairs. This video is one of the best at showcasing how much potential drones possess for miners and really anyone who’s interested in exploring this technology.


Drones for the Mining and Rail Industries | Aerial Insights – AirwareUAS

Skip ahead about thirty seconds into this video to avoid an exceedingly long intro, and you’ll find Airware’s Director of Business Development, Jesse Kallman, sitting down with Emmanuel De Maistre, Co-founder & CEO of Redbird. They discuss exactly what DeMaistre’s company does with UAV technology, what industries they’re serving, how they use drones for long-range inspections and plenty more.

As great as it is to hear these insights, the best feature of the video is the “Aerial Insights” side-by-side video that showcases what’s being discussed. It’s one thing to talk about using the data to study safety compliance, but it’s quite another to actually see how that’s being done, especially with video that’s captured with drones. While it’s a shame this feature isn’t being used more often in the video, when it is being utilized it makes the entire experience that much fuller.

Airware’s Aerial Insights series features numerous discussions with industry experts that feature the same in-depth discussion and “Aerial Insights” video. You’ll definitely end up with a better understanding of what drones can do after hearing and seeing what kind of a difference they can make in real world situations.


Redbird & Groupe CB - drone data to monitor quarries - Redbird

Speaking of Redbird, this drone analytics startup is committed to turning drone data into actionable intelligence, and the mining industry is one of their areas of focus. The video here highlights that focus by featuring interviews with Groupe CB, one the most significant quarry operators in France. It features various representatives from the company talking through how they were able to utilize drones on their recent projects.

The video is all in French, which isn’t especially helpful for anyone who doesn’t speak French. While English subtitles are available, focusing on reading the subtitles means you miss out on the visuals, which is the most important part of the video. It seems like a curious decision to not simply have an English VO, even if that would have meant creating multiple versions. That would have allowed them to target specific markets, which seems like an ideal solution.

Nonetheless, the video does a nice job showing specifically what using drones means to Groupe CB as an organization as well as to the people who are actually operating them. Hearing (or reading) what they have to say in their own words makes everything feel genuine, and the visuals, which show the data being captured and what they do with it, are especially powerful.


UAV Mine Site Fly Through – MinStaff Survey Pty Ltd

Of course, the visuals are just a piece of the puzzle when it comes to the benefits drones provide. It’s the data drones capture that’s most essential, as this info can be used to assemble 3D models and enable miners to have a much better understanding of a project.

We don’t see any of the actual capture footage here, but instead get an amazing look at the 3D model that was generated from aerial imagery. A quick glance at this short video will make it apparent to anyone what kind of critical info can be gathered from these 3D models.

This video can be a nice starting place for anyone who needs to comprehend what drones can do for miners. There are obviously a number of critical details to further explore and develop, but beginning at the beginning is always a wise choice, especially when it comes to UAV technology.