The ministry of mines has decided to give a major thrust to usage of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to increase efficiency of India’s mining sector be it preparation and monitoring of mining plans, area inspection, production and exploration, dispatch and even checking and curbing the menace of illegal mining.
Union minister of mines, Piyush Goyal, also incharge of power, RE and coal ministries had asked mining firms to use modern and latest technologies that holds the future to the way mining is being done in India.
Further to asking all state governments and the public sector mining units to “explore the usage and deployment of drone technology” in their respective organisations”, the mining ministry has also asked its exploration company — Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) — to buy one or two drones and start using them so that others can follow suit.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) January 18, 2017
At a recent event, the union mines secretary, Balvinder Kumar asked Tata Steel to demonstrate the use of drones at its Noamundi Iron Mine (NIM).
NIM has now become the first mine in the country to introduce drone in mine monitoring.Also present at the event were officials from the India Bureau of Mines and Tata Steel. The event was conducted by Skylark Drones, a Bengaluru based firm. Skylark Drones specializes in drone application in various industries.
“We have initiated mining surveillance system using space technology along with a mobile app. This will help in stopping illegal mining, monitoring mining plan, production, dispatch and royalty payment. We requested Tata Steel to demonstrate it in Noamundi iron mine,” said the secretary.
Riding high on technology, even in the power sector, firms like Sterlite Power are using drones and helicopters to execute transmission projects in difficult terrains and much ahead of schedule.
Minister Goyal soon after assuming charge as the mines minister has been laying a lot of major thrust on usage of latest technology for increasing the efficiency of various aspects of mining sector.
organisations — MECL, GSI and IBM — work under Ministry of Mines.
Drones can speed up preparation of mining plans by fast tracking surveys of large areas.
The union mining secretary recently told DefenceAcviationPost that he had asked all PSUs including National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL), Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) and MOIL (formerly known as Manganese Ore India Limited) to use drones for cutting short the project timelines.
Academic institutions like the IITs are also being involved in helping the mining ministry and PSUs on how the drones can provide all kind of services and how they can be designed as per a mining organisation’s requirements.
Globally, the use of drones in the mining sector is quite prevalent and mining majors like Rio Tinto are using drones to survey its mining pits.
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