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Drone Scanner On Mine Blocks

Bhubaneswar: To bring in better governance, visibility and transparency in the operations of mines, the Department of Steel & Mines (DoSM) has decided to use drones and remote sensing technology in mining operations.

According to official sources, the Department of Steel & Mines has floated a tender to hire an IT implementing agency for development and implementation of an intelligent drone platform in the State.

The agency will provide drone captured data (raw or pre-processed image and videos), perform analysis on the same based on certain use cases identified and provision the generated output (report on compliances and violations) to the users/stakeholders such as DoSM officials, other competent authorities, lessees and others.

The platform shall analyse drone captured data pertinent to the various operations and compliance aspects of the mining lessees and report the same in relevant visual format. The platform will be integrated with the current i3MS system and would be a part of the existing IT ecosystem, the officials said.

Through the drone system, the Department can do lease boundary inspection, land use pattern assessment, production pit status, stockpile detection and volume calculations, they informed.

The use of drones is supporting mining applications from exploration, surveying and mapping to maintaining safety and enhancing security. The popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) across the mining industry has grown immensely in recent years, with mine sites showing substantial penetration of drones across regions such as Australasia and Africa.

However, in India it is yet to take off.  Recently, the Government of India has come up with a Drone Policy, which will now guide all sectors including the mining industry for its use for developmental purposes.

Drones are mini pilotless aircraft operated by remote control and can be accessed through simple devices like a smartphone app. These unmanned vehicles require far less effort, time and energy, and can reach far and difficult terrains while being controlled by a single person remotely.

Popularity and adoption of drone technology is catching up across regions and sectors and India is no exception to it. 

Union Civil Aviation Minister JyotiradityaScindia said last month that India will need approximately one lakh drone pilots in the coming years.

In order to showcase the potential of the indigenous drone industry, India recently organised its biggest drone festival in the national capital.

Odisha is the leading state in the country when it comes to the use of modern technology in the mining sector.

The State Government has introduced revolutionising systems like Integrated Mines and Mineral Management System or i3MS which has been replicated by many States. The State has witnessed maximum transformational changes in the sector in the last ten years.

Apart from use of IT in a greater way, the State Government has successfully implemented all the amended provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act which has led to auctioning the highest numbers of mines in the country.