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Why drone data will be critical to securing the explosives industry

One of the largest conundrums facing regulators in every country today is the security of explosive products. While mines are highly regulated and have some of the highest security available, all mine operators, independent contractors and miners must follow strict explosives safety procedures to prevent fatalities. As a result, the forward-thinking leaders of the industry are embracing drone data in securing explosives.

Tag & Trace: critical for lowering the liability of blasting operations

Tagging and tracing explosives inventory is the number-one security concern for regulatory bodies. Some countries are now starting to enforce the protocol that explosives must be traced from manufacturer to the borehole. To adhere to these new inventory and security regulations, mining companies, explosives manufacturers, and explosives distributors will need to implement systems capable of accounting for all explosive products such as detonators and cast boosters. Early adopters are beginning to look at emergent technology for a solution that lowers the liability of blasting operations.

Aerial data generated by drones empower seamless inventory control
How does the product get tracked through the inventory flow? The explosive inventory flow moves from manufacturer to wholesalers/distributors to mine magazine; in this flow, inventories are constantly checked and double-checked, however the utilization of the explosives is not

However, the current process for gauging the utilization rate of blast hole explosives back to the explosive inventory, in order to provide seamless integration across all processes, innovators are looking at drone technology.Drone data is now able to provide information about mining holes in granular detail, including:

  • Longitude
  • Latitude
  • Elevation
  • Terrain data points
  • Blast parameters

The information is provided by cloud-based 3D models which locate each hole and generate meaningful insights for the mining companies.

Assurance with accurate data
In the future, the blaster on site will be able to analyze vibration, overpressure, which minimize the disruptive effects blasting has on the environment. Insights generated would also substantially improve future blast performance with predictive analytics.

Miners can even prevent theft of explosive products and minimize the chance of misfired explosives. This can all be achieved with the drone mapping and planning software, which enables the blaster on site to scan the product going down the hole according to the physical coordinates, and digitizing information in real time.

The tag and trace of explosives will soon become prevalent as the early adopters gain massive competitive advantage and regulatory pressures sweep across the industry. Companies need to prepare for inventory control that will change the way they do business completely and manage blasting inventory. 3D modelling powered by drone technology will play a critical part of redefining inventory control history, as we move towards a safer and more productive future in mines and quarries.