Sibelco Australia purchased a Gatewing UAV in 2011 to help their surveying team carry out aerial surveys for a multitude of their mine sites around the country.
The Gatewing X100 is a fixed wing platform purpose built for mapping and surveying operations. Sibelco have spoken out about their experiences with the platform, which has had several advantage points for the company.
In the past Sibelco typically used contract surveyors for both ground and aerial surveys, sometimes amounting to a hefty bill for the organization. Naturally, they started to look for cheaper surveying solutions that could be applicable to their numerous sites. This is where they discovered the benefits of commercial UAVs.
SibelcoÂ Australia has praised their UAV on several factors, most notably; its flexibility of use in multiple weather conditions, the increased safety it provides by taking men out of the pits and the amount of time it saves the surveying team when collecting data.
According to the mining giant every flight they have conducted thus far has been a resounding success, with 100% of flights going to plan.
I can see that mining companies such as Sibelco can easily reap the benefits of UAV flights with minimal obstacles. Many regulatory bodies, including Australia’s CASA do not permit UAV flights near or over populated areas, with the majority of mining sites located outside ofÂ heavily urbanized and populated areas, this is a major challenge that does not necessarily apply to them.
Does anyone else know of any successful mining companies currently using UAVs?
To read the full article on Sibelco’s UAV successes click here
Picture by Storm CryptÂ from Flickr, to view original click here