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Tata Steel`s Noamundi Iron Mine conducts pilot launch of Drone Application in Mine Monitoring
Noamundi, 1/16/2017

~Noamundi Iron Mine becomes the first mine in the country to introduce drone in mine monitoring~

Noamundi Iron Mine (NIM) of OMQ (Ore, Mines & Quarries) Division of Tata Steel executed a pilot launch of Drone Application in Mine Monitoring (DAMM), today. With this, NIM has become the first mine in the country to introduce drone in mine monitoring.

The programme was launched by Mr Balvinder Kumar, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Government of India in the presence of Mr R K Sinha, Controller General, Indian Bureau of Mines, Mr A. B Panigrahi, Controller of Mines (CZ), Indian Bureau of Mines, Mr Rajeev Singhal, Vice President (Raw Materials), Tata Steel and Mr Pankaj Satija, General Manager (OMQ), Tata Steel.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kumar said: “We have initiated mining surveillance system using space technology along with a mobile app. This will help in stopping illegal mining, monitoring mining plan, production, dispatch and royalty payment. We requested Tata Steel to demonstrate it in Noamundi iron mine.”

Speaking about the pilot launch of DAMM, Mr Singhal said: “It is a proud moment for all of us. Tata Steel has embarked on the digital journey to leverage benefits of the latest changes in this field. We are trying to keep pace with the global trends of digitalisation in mining industry and this is a step towards that. This technology of mine monitoring through drone will help us to address adequately any bottleneck on the ground with responsive mine administration.”

Talking about the digital initiative, Mr Satija said: “This is one of the initiatives towards being digital. It will be useful for mine monitoring, environment monitoring, lease boundary inspection, reclamation and rehabilitation also.”

The objective of this application at Noamundi is surveillance of mining area, lease boundary inspection, inspection of safety zone, counting vegetation in reclaimed area and quarry and dump profiling for volume calculations. This trial of DAMM at NIM is being conducted by Skylark Drones, a Bengaluru-based firm. Skylark Drones specialises in drone application in various industries.

OMQ Division aims to work smarter and use innovations like autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, analytics, remote control centers, predictive maintenance with prime focus on safety. As a part of mine automation, DAMM would now further help to achieve multiple benefits ranging from initial survey to carry out exploration activity, physical terrain mapping for segregation of land use, mapping of forest area, contour mapping, 3D modelling and detrital terrain modeling for effective mine planning, volumetric analysis of extractions, reclamation studies using the ortho-photography using LiDARs, thereby ensuring safety and security within the leasehold area.

Under digital initiatives, NIM has implemented Mobile Based Mine Planning (MPOP), short term and long term mine planning by using X-PAC/X-Act and 3D Laser Scanner in the year 2015. The mine has also been awarded the 5 Star Rating by Indian Bureau of Mines, Government of India under Sustainable Development Framework.


About drone technology

Drone technology is one the emerging technology in digital world. This technology has immense scope where large area monitoring and exploration activities are involved. The technology provides access to areas which are difficult and unsafe to human.  This technology also provides scope in mining applications categorically towards mining surveillance, mines survey, geotech investigation, forestry survey, dump management, pit development , mine reclamation, etc.

The drone technology involves different types of tiny aeroplanes which can be equipped with different sets of accessories such as high resolution camera, binocular, transmitting device, ground profiler, etc. The device generally flies at low altitude to observe the object/ground profile in close proximity.  It can fly in predetermined path or remotely controlled by base station. The data is captured in high resolution images which after processing generate different output such as topography survey, digital terrain modal, contours, dump and quarry profile. Advance application of the technology has wide scope in land survey, counting veneration density, tree enumeration, slope stability, exploration survey and estimating flora and fauna.


About Tata Steel


Tata Steel Group stands among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 28 million tonnes per annum (MnTPA) and a turnover of US $17.69 billion in FY16. It is the world's second-most geographically-diversified steel producer, with operations in 26 countries and commercial presence in over 50 countries. Established in 1907, the Group’s vision is to be the world steel industry benchmark in “Value Creation” and “Corporate Citizenship” through the excellence of its people, its innovative approach and overall conduct. Underpinning this vision is a performance culture committed to aspiration targets, safety and social responsibility, continuous improvement, openness and transparency. Having bagged the Deming Application Prize and Deming Grand Prize for continuous improvement in 2008 and 2012 respectively, Tata Steel has now been recognised as the global ‘Industry Leader’ in ‘Steel category’ by Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Besides being one of ‘worldsteel’s’ Climate Action members, it has also been awarded the CII ITC Sustainability Prize, the ‘Best-in-class Manufacturing’ by TIME Award, the Prime Minister’s Trophy for the best performing integrated steel plant, among several others.



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