May 17, 2020

Drones in the sky of diamonds: Drones can combat illegal mining in India

Mining technology
Dale Benton
2 min
Drone in the sky of diamonds: Drones to combat illegal mining in India
Unmanned aerial vehicles such as drones, could play a key role in the fight against illegal mining activity, says Indias ministry of mines.

In a note r...

Unmanned aerial vehicles such as drones, could play a key role in the fight against illegal mining activity, says India’s ministry of mines.

In a note released late in 2016, the Ministry of Mines called upon state Government of India to explore the role that drones can play in governing in the mining industry.

In recent years, unmanned aerial vehicles are becoming more and more a norm across the industry. Large mining companies such as BHP Billiton or Caterpillar Mining are already investing in drone technology to explore how it can increase efficiency and productivity of mining operations all the while proving a cost-effective measure.

In 2016, drone technology company Airware acquired the drone data analytics company Redbird, which already worked closely with a number of mining companies including CAT Mining – be sure to look out for our exclusive interview with Jonathan Downey, Founder & CEO of Airware in the February issue of Mining Global.

The Ministry of Mines developed the Mining Surveillance System (MSS) in 2016, a satellite-based monitoring system which aims to “establish a regime of responsive mineral administration, through public participation, by curbing instances of illegal mining activity through automatic remote sensing detection technology.”

Following the conception of the MSS, the Ministry of Mines has pulled together a number of explorative uses for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) specifically targeted to the mining industry:

For exploration work:

  • Carrying out initial aerial survey of areas to help the planning stages of exploration activities
  • Physical terrain mapping and segregation of land use
  • Surveying and mapping of forests

For mining, Public Service Undertakings in India:

  • 3D modelling and digital elevation modelling of mines for efficient mine planning
  • Volumetric analysis of the extractions and dumps will not only be helpful for routine automation but also for periodical stock verifications
  • Tracking movements of trucks on the mining site using target tracking feature on drones
  • Reclamation studies using the ortho-photography or LiDARs
  • Lease boundary fixation using the on-board GPS of drones

For States and IBM:

  • Lease boundary verifications and geo-referencing of the leases
  • Carrying out aerial surveys at regular interval to study the difference in patterns which in turn can be used for analysing the mining activities
  • Monitoring of illegal mining activities, even in cases of sand mining
  • Using thermal cameras, drones can also be deployed at night to see if any illegal mining activities/transportation are being carried out
  • Target tracking feature can be ideally used for tracking movement of illegal trucks.


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Get in touch with our editor Dale Benton at [email protected]


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May 4, 2021

Axora launches global challenge for digital technology

2 min
Axora, the industrial B2B digital solutions marketplace, has launched 'The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge' to discover game changing innovations

Axora is launching the world’s first international competition to discover new cost-saving digital technology for industrial companies, which can produce rapid benefits within a year.


The Metals & Mining and Oil & Gas sectors have recently experienced budget cuts of 20% on average, driven by a variety of factors including the global pandemic, slump in demand and price wars. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge aims to transform these industries by discovering innovative, digital solutions that reduce cost fast and pay for themselves, whilst achieving the same or improved productivity, health and safety and sustainability standards.

Digital Transformation

“While digital solutions can help to get work done quicker and more cost-effectively, they typically require a three-year ROI, and if there’s no flexibility in the budget, a full budget planning cycle is needed to get things moving”, said Dr. Nick Mayhew, Chief Commercial Officer, Axora.

“Yet, extra financial cost is often incurred in delaying digital projects, so customers have asked us to highlight solutions that can have an ‘in year payback’ whereby the cost spent on the solution and deployment will be more than recovered within the budget year - this accelerates the timeline and drives positive business impact, quickly.”

The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge

Axora is keen to learn of any digital cost-saving innovation which: meets the 12-month payback timeframe; can be deployed in any part of the value chain including upstream, downstream or midstream oil and gas, metals processing or mining; and is ready for market. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge is open to entrepreneurs, start-ups, academics and sector leaders across the world. The competition will be judged by a panel of leading industry experts.

“We’re passionate about supporting our industries and customers through all forms of digital transformation and the cost-saving solutions we are searching for could also provide a lifeline to many mining and metals and oil and gas companies in the current economic climate,” added Dr. Mayhew.

Improving productivity, safety and sustainability

Up to ten finalists will be chosen to pitch their solutions at a digital pitch day later this year, after which Axora will validate the ROI models and vet the solutions. The winner will receive the ‘Axora Market Accelerator’ sales and marketing package worth £10,000. This includes a two-hour workshop, promotion through Axora’s thought leadership content and inclusion into its digital demand engines, providing the opportunity for the winning solution to benefit thousands of industrial companies. Entries are open until May 31. Full details of the competition including terms and conditions can be found here.

To learn more about the Axora B2B digital solutions marketplace read our feature in the latest issue of Mining Global magazine.

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