Soaring High: How Drones In Mining are transforming Mine Digitization

Mining, a cornerstone of the global economy, is being propelled into the digital age with the advent of drone technology. Drones are taking center stage in collecting data for mine digitization, offering a myriad of benefits that enhance efficiency and safety in the industry.

The Role of Drones in Data Collection for Mine Digitization

Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), have rapidly become indispensable tools in the mining sector. Their role in mine digitization is threefold:

  1. Data Collection: Drones are equipped with various sensors and cameras, which can capture high-resolution images, LiDAR data, and thermal imagery. These data sources are crucial for creating accurate 3D digital twins of mining sites.
  2. Accessibility: Drones can access areas that are often challenging for humans, such as steep terrain, remote locations, or hazardous environments. This capability enables comprehensive data collection.
  3. Efficiency: Drones can swiftly cover vast areas, significantly reducing the time and resources needed for data acquisition, as compared to traditional methods.
Drone Photogrammetry: Enhancing Efficiency and Safety

One of the remarkable applications of drones in mine digitization is drone photogrammetry, which leverages images captured by drones to create precise 3D models of mine sites. This technology offers a multitude of advantages, improving both efficiency and safety:

  1. Rapid Data Acquisition: Drone photogrammetry allows for the swift collection of data across expansive mining areas, reducing the time required for inspections and surveys.
  2. High Precision: The high-resolution images taken by drones ensure the accuracy of the 3D models, aiding in precise mine planning and asset management.
  3. Enhanced Safety: Drones can access dangerous or remote locations without putting human lives at risk. This dramatically improves safety during inspections.


Case Studies: The Impact of Drones in Mining

To illustrate the real-world impact of drones in mining, consider these two case studies:

Case Study 1: Reducing Risk in Open-Pit Mining
  • In a large open-pit mine in Australia, drones were deployed to monitor the walls of the mine for potential instability. This approach eliminated the need for manual inspections, which could be dangerous. As a result, the mine experienced a 30% reduction in safety-related costs.
Case Study 2: Streamlining Exploration
  • A mining company in Canada employed drones to explore a vast, remote mining site. The drones rapidly collected geological and topographical data, significantly reducing the time and expenses required for exploration. This streamlined process saved the company over $1.5 million in exploration costs.



In the ever-advancing world of mining, the adoption of drone technology is a game-changer. Drones expedite data collection, enhance precision, and, most importantly, improve safety. As drones continue to evolve and integrate with other digitization technologies, they promise to redefine the mining industry, making it more efficient, cost-effective, and safer than ever before.