Imerys is the world leader in mineral-based specialties for industry, delivering high value-added, functional solutions to a great number of sectors, from processing industries to consumer goods and building products. Imerys employs over 18,000 employees and is based in over 50 countries with 270 industrial sites.
GeoCue Group team member, Megan McNab, talked to Imerys Geologist, Alex Beck, about how Imerys uses drone mapping to increase its efficiency and accuracy.
We currently use the DJI Inspire 2 drone with Loki and the iGage iG3s static base station for PPK. We use ASPSuite for processing the PPK data, Agisoft Photoscan for image processing and 3D data generation, LP360 for point cloud processing, and GEOVIA Surpac for mine planning using point cloud data.
The majority of our drone work entails volumetrics for overburden removal. We also use the drone for environmental work (terrain slopes and reclamation progress), mine planning (ramp and pit design) and structural inspections (silos, sheds, etc.). Currently we are working on quantifying ore recovery rates at our mines to compare with production data.
We now have the ability to cover much larger areas in a much more efficient manner. We consistently are able to achieve survey grade accuracy without the need for control points, although we do deploy aerial targets to use as a check to insure accuracy. We can now feel considerably more confident in our volumetric surveys. We are looking to use this added efficiency to help with 5 year and Life of Mine overburden/backfill inventory plans to track where and how much material was placed in mining areas in prior years. Keeping the surveying crew out of the pit during active stripping campaigns has increased operator safety.