A Real World Look at How Aerial Surveys with Drone Technology are Revolutionizing the Industry

Annual Costs (Aerial Survey Using Drone)

In this case, the company actually purchased a drone package, as opposed to hiring a service provider to quantify the three sites (as recorded in equipment costs).

Aerial survey with droneManpower – A dedicated employee was trained on the drone, spending only a couple of hours to quantify each site (as opposed to a week for each). Because the aerial surveys were so easy and efficient to carry out, the company decided to up the frequency to 12 times/year.

Over the course of 12 surveys, employee hours totaled just 144; at a rate of $30/hr, the annual cost of employee manpower came out to $4,320.

Equipment – The company paid $25,000 for the package (including the drone, hardware, camera, components and software analysis package).

Note: Not all drone packages capable of this level of measurement in aerial surveys are quite so expensive. At Diverse Flight Solutions, we offer complete packages equipped for accurate stockpile analysis starting at around $15,000. Individual service options (where we come out, fly the site and provide a report for you) are very affordable as well. 

 Third Party Costs – None.

Total Annual Cost: $29,320

Aerial surveys save moneySummary

Ok, let’s break this down.

Overall, the company was able to double the frequency of their internal stockpile measurement, while paying 22% less than before.

If they opted for the service model (hiring a provider to periodically fly the site and provide all data) they actually would have saved a good deal of money–but without the additional internal usage that also provided value.

(Note: DFS offers additional services (inspections, etc.) that can be carried out at the same time as an aerial survey, thereby making the data even more affordable.)

Additional Uses and Benefits

The company lead on this project also found that the drone offered a great deal more in the way of ROI AND liability management when used for tasks beyond aerial surveys.  In fact, he said that stockpiles accounted for only half of the flights they perform on a regular basis.

They found that inspections of quarries, cliff faces, and even mining equipment can be effectively carried out using a drone, thereby minimizing risk to employees that would otherwise have to inspect manually. Periodic flights also aided in mine planning and daily mine operations.


Success after aerial surveysConclusion

This company carried out a thorough study of the economic benefits of using a drone for aerial surveys in stockpile measurement. The drone system saved the firm a great deal of time and money, paying for itself in just months. The drone has become an integral part of their business plan, and continues to provide real value and ROI in various facets of the overall mining operation.

In Part 3 of this series, we’re going to address a common question: How accurate are aerial surveys compared to conventional measurements?

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If you have any questions, please feel free to send them on over to me at Eddie@DiverseFlightSolutions.com. If you’re located in Florida and are interested in taking advantage of this drone technology for your business, please reach out to us at Contact@DiverseFlightSolutions.com and visit us at www.DiverseFlightSolutions.com.