Northern Territory uses drones to inspect legacy mines

1 February 2017 (Last Updated February 1st, 2017 18:30)

Australia's Northern Territory has started using drone technology to inspect legacy mine sites.

Australia's Northern Territory has started using drone technology to inspect legacy mine sites.

Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Ken Vowles said drone technology can reach those areas of mine sites that otherwise cannot be accessed by people.

This technology helps produce digital terrain models to gain a better perspective.

Vowles said: “The use of this new drone technology allows for fast and efficient inspection of legacy mining sites leading to further remediation work and heightened community safety.”

Drone technology was recently used in the Tennant Creek area to inspect the legacy mine sites of Warrego, Orlando, Nobles Nob and former Peko mine after recent heavy rains.

Vowles added: “The vision that has come back from these sites has proven to be of huge benefit as it allowed rapid investigation to see if any urgent works were needed.

"The vision that has come back from these sites has proven to be of huge benefit as it allowed rapid investigation to see if any urgent works were needed."

“Images and data from the drone can be used to help plan the next stages of work to help mitigate risk from legacy mine sites.”

Resource industry is a key aspect in boosting the economy of Northern Territory.

Vowles said: “Our government is committed to providing opportunities for regional development: a key priority is supporting Tennant Creek’s progression as a mining services hub for the NT.

“The estimated value of contracts around Tennant Creek over the next three years is between $3m and $5m and legacy mine remediation will play a large role in this.”

Recently, the government announced an increased minimum weighting of local content of 30% in all government quotes and tenders. The Legacy Mine Unit, however, already uses 40% local content weighting for assessing tenders.

Vowles added: “This is to ensure local businesses have a greater chance of winning the work, therefore supporting local jobs growth in the territory. Our government will also ensure 40% indigenous employment for contracts associated with legacy mines programmes issued in the Tennant Creek Region.”