Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 64 of 115

STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT DECEMBER 2018 • E&MJ 63 DJI said the RTK module can provide positioning accuracy of 1 cm+1 ppm (horizontal), 1.5 cm+1 ppm (vertical), and the Phantom 4 RTK can produce the 5-cm absolute horizontal accuracy of photogrammetric models. In late October, Kespry, another drone- based solution provider, and DJI announced they also are partnering to offer the DJI Ma- vic 2 Pro drone as part of Kespry's stockpile measurement solution for mining compa- nies. The company claims adding this solu- tion will enable miners to standardize and capture stockpile data across all their sites in the Kespry platform, while continuing to use the Kespry 2 drone platform to support mine and site planning operations. George Mathew, Kespry's CEO and chairman, said, "Our goal with the addi- tion of the Mavic 2 Pro to our solution is to respond to our customers wishing to use the Kespry aerial intelligence plat- form across all mine sites to standardize how stockpile data is generated." Companies that choose to conduct their drone operations in-house can benefit from the advantages offered by this type of setup, but they also face the effort and expense of training personnel, staying current on drone technology and regulations, and maintaining the equipment. For producers interested in adopting drone-based activities but don't want the attendant hassles of in-house operation, Airobotics offers what may be an attractive solution — a fully automated, industrial level, multipurpose drone platform comprising a high-capacity drone, an automat- ed base station and cloud-based software. The system doesn't re- quire a pilot for operation. The drone automatically launches from a freestanding base station (Airbase), and flies pre-programmed or on-demand missions to collect aerial data. Once a mission is complete, the drone re- turns to the Airbase, where a robotic arm replaces its battery and payload before deploying the next mission. Israel-based Airobotics said the sys- tem is currently being used by sever- al mining companies, including ICL, South32's Worsley Alumina operations in Western Australia, and the Minera Cen- tinela copper mine, owned 70% by An- tofagasta Minerals and 30% by Marubeni Corp., in northern Chile. Airobotics' drone software, according to the company, is both a complete operating system and an open platform. Third parties can build and customize the payloads, along with software apps to support and manage new types of missions. The company uses SimActive's Correlator 3D suite for photo- grammetry-based volume calculations. Airobotics' fully automated drone system stores and services the drone in a self-contained enclosure called the Airbase. A human pilot or attendant is not required to conduct flight missions.

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