DroneXL.co | Drone news, rumors, specs DJI Mavic 3  other UAS
Prospecting for gold, uranium, and other precious metals with a drone

Prospecting for gold, uranium, and other precious metals with a drone

Canadian Pioneer Exploration Consultants Ltd., a geologic consulting firm uses an unmanned aircraft outfitted with a magnetometer to probe the earth for mining clients. Prospecting for gold, uranium, copper, and other precious metals with a drone.

Prospecting for gold, uranium, and other precious metals with a drone

Michael Burns, geologist and president of the company, and his team use a DJI Matrice 600, and sometimes even larger, custom-built drones outfitted with a magnetometer to look for rock and mineral formations to identify areas that may contain minerals and other precious metals.

A magnetometer is a very sensitive compass that reads the earth’s magnetic field. Based on the data gathered with the drone Burns and his team make magnetic maps that offer drill recommendations for prospecting clients.

Using drones to explore mining opportunities is both ‘cheaper, safer, and better’ compared to traditional forms of manned aviation such as the use of helicopters and other aircraft. Magnetometers can also be worn in backpacks, but covering large areas in rough terrain this way can be very time consuming and expensive.

Prospecting for gold, uranium, and other precious metals with a drone

Compared to traditional aviation, drones can fly much lower and far more stable and thus collect more and more precise data that can be used to create magnetic maps of the area.

A typical mission with a drone might involve five to 10 days of flying with an additional two or three days of in-office planning, says Burns. For most missions, Pioneer uses the DJI Matrice 600 drone, although, for operations that require a heavier payload-carrying ability, the company also uses even larger, custom-built multi-copter drones.

“Beyond the drone itself, there’s a lot of modification into what we do to make it applicable for our types of survey work,” Burns said, adding that the company uses non-DJI software for flight planning and control, according to an interview in AOPA.

Prospecting for gold, uranium, and other precious metals with a drone

A typical day during a mission might involve anywhere from 25 to 30 drone launches per day. Two generators keep five sets of batteries fully charged to allow for non-stop drone flying.

“Our pilots work extremely hard and they fly a huge amount of missions. Safety is always really key. Our focus is to collect the best quality data in the industry. It just turns out that we’re using drones to do it,” Burns said.

A typical prospecting drone flight will be 30 to 60 feet above the terrain with the magnetometer hanging from the unmanned aircraft in order to get the cleanest possible signal and not magnetic noise from the drone.

President and CEO of Belmont Resources, George Sookochoff is very enthusiastic about using drones for prospecting, because of the high-quality data that Pioneer delivers at roughly half the cost of traditional methods.

“There’s no comparison [to helicopter-acquired data]. You’re getting higher quality at half the cost,” he said as he reviewed the most recent imaging data delivered by Pioneer. “I’m just so impressed.”

Prospecting for gold, uranium, and other precious metals with a drone

Flying drones as a career?

If you want to turn your hobby into your career, practice how to fly your drone safely, and learn what it takes to get your Part 107, be sure to check out the excellent training modules from The Drone U.

DroneU Marketing Banner Ad 1

Stay in touch!

If you’d like to stay up to date with all the latest drone news, scoops, rumors, and reviews, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or…

Subscribe to our Daily Drone News email.*


 

Submit tips If you have information or tips that you would like to share with us, feel free to submit them hereSupport DroneXL.co: You can support DroneXL.co by using these links when you make your next drone purchase: Adorama, Amazon, B&H, BestBuy, eBay, DJI, Parrot, and Yuneec. We make a small commission when you do so at no additional expense to you. Thank you for helping DroneXL grow! FTC: DroneXL.co uses affiliate links that generate income.


* We do not sell, share, rent out or spam your email, ever. Our email goes out on weekdays around 5:30 p.m.

Photos courtesy of Pioneer Exploration Consultants / Belmont Resources Inc.

Haye Kesteloo

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.