HOTLINE: Chilean company hoping use of mining drones will take off

Some Chilean mining companies are analysing the use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs) for research and monitoring activities at their sites, Metal Bulletin understands.

Some Chilean mining companies are analysing the use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs) for research and monitoring activities at their sites, Metal Bulletin understands.

Chilean drone manufacturer Sisdef presented a series of UAVs which are suitable for mining during the recent Exponor mining industry exhibition, which took place last week in Antofagasta, Chile.

“We have found a lot of potential for the use of drones in mining,” Sisdef’s business manager Jorge Pimentel said.

“We are introducing this technology into the mining sector and we are having conversations with some mining companies,” Pimentel added.

Companies including Minera Escondida, Codelco Gabriela Mistral and Spence y Soldado have expressed an interest in acquiring mining drones.

“They can be used on tasks such as the inspection of works at high levels, heap leach monitoring, the inspection of highways and roads, the taking of pictures and aerial videos for topographic purposes, and laser and infrared ground scanning,” Pimentel said.

The use of drones increases the efficiency of an operation as it is cheaper than other methods, he added, although he did not disclose the price of the machines.

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