Prospectors look to technology to help along rebound in B.C. mining exploration – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – January 24, 2018)

Michael Burns can take a crew of two or three people with one of his company’s drones out to a remote mining claim and in a day do the survey work it would take a crew of four or five a month to do on the ground.

It’s an innovation that didn’t exist three years ago, said Burns, CEO of Vancouver headquartered Global UAV Technologies, during a presentation at the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C.’s annual Roundup conference.

The conference saw more than 6,500 delegates — its best attendance in three years — from dozens of companies, government agencies, suppliers and financiers gather to examine the next best prospects for mining and how to accomplish exploration in context of a renewed focus on reconciliation with First Nations.

Burns said that for his company advances in drone size, payload capacity and endurance, along with a race to miniaturize sophisticated sensors such as Lidar and magnetometers, have made drone surveys an innovation in demand within a rebounding, and cost-conscious, mineral exploration sector in B.C.

“You’re always looking to maximize every dollar you spend on exploration to get the biggest return,” Burns said. “This allows you to do that,” Burns said, with drone surveys coming in cheaper than ground surveys of mineral claims and with enough range to sometimes replace aerial magnetic surveys done by manned helicopters or airplanes.

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