Japan’s Terra Drone Corporation has signed an investment agreement with Unmanned Aerial Services Incorporated (UAS Inc.), an Ontario, Canada-based inspection service provider for indoor industrial confined spaces and underground mine locations. With this agreement, Terra Drone will form a new subsidiary in Canada, Terra Drone Mining, to provide cutting-edge unmanned mapping and inspection services to underground mines across the world.
Established in 2017, UAS Inc. counts among its clients some of the world’s leading mining companies including Vale, Newmont Goldcorp, Barrick Gold, and Glencore. The fresh infusion of investment by Terra Drone will allow the newly-formed Terra Drone Mining to expand UAS Inc.’s business beyond North America, and cater to areas of thriving underground operations such as South/Central America, South Africa, Central Asia, Russia and Australia.
Accidents in underground mines have remained a serious issue around the world throughout the last century. Workers not only suffer from health issues caused by working in dark and narrow tunnels day after day, but they are also prone to accidents caused by falling material, flooding, and underground fires and explosions. According to the United States Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), there have been more than 20 fatalities in US mines this year alone.
The risk of such incidents can be minimized by using unmanned inspection solutions, aka drones. Terra Drone utilizes a mapping technology called SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) to create highly detailed maps of underground areas. Since a drone can reach areas that are not easily or safely accessible to humans or traditional CMS scanners, mine operators can use drones to obtain 3D models of the mines, and prevent workers from entering hazardous locations.
Terra Drone Mining will be able to leverage both this advanced UAV technology as well as the underground mining inspection know-how that UAS Inc. has cultivated over time to create a robust local service network.
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