Glencore teams up with FlyFreely to host free drones and mining webinar

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The chief remote pilot at one of Australia’s largest mining companies will discuss the critical role UAV programs play in the sector during a special webinar this month.

Andrew Sutherland from Glencore will join drone management platform FlyFreely founder and CEO Dr David Cole to discuss how to scale a drone program across 34 mine sites.

The mining company has modernised and scaled its UAV strategy in recent years, allowing it to significantly streamline and improve efficiencies.

Mr Sutherland, who leads a team of more than 300 pilots, said he was excited to share what he had learned through the process with others in this space looking for guidance. 

“Many mining organisations are still in the early stages of this journey and are looking to leaders for guidance on how to integrate drone technology into everyday operations,” he said.

“It’s important to look at the big picture and partner with the right organisations to ensure you build a sustainable, safe and compliant model that can then be rolled out with ease at multiple sites.”

Glencore started working with FlyFreely in August 2022.

Mr Sutherland said the technology had improved the mining company’s drone processes by more than 1000 per cent.

“I can now tell you what pilots are qualified, if a drone is operational or not, exactly what jobs have been completed and if everyone has been doing their checks,” he said.

“I can sleep better at night knowing that if CASA came to me tomorrow, I know with certainty that we’re compliant.”

Dr Cole said an effective drone program was particularly important for mining companies, due to the inaccessibility and remoteness of sites.

“Our software can be used offline and on mobile phones, which significantly speeds up both the time it takes to log flights and the approvals process,” he said.

“The intuitive nature of our platform means we’re also able to roll it out and train staff remotely, reducing the need for costly, in-person demonstrations.”

Mr Sutherland leads a team of more than 300 pilots and more than 120 drones located at more than 30 commodities sites across Australia, including coal, copper, zinc, nickel and cattle.

The free webinar will be held on September 28 at 12pm AEST.

To register, click here:

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