Drones boost mine remediation in the NT

Drones are being used to inspect legacy mines in the Northern Territory, helping aid remediation efforts.

Minister for primary industries and resources, Ken Vowles, said drone technology can reach inaccessible areas of the mine, producing digital terrain models to give operators a better perspective of the site.

“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,” he said.

Vowles said drone technology had been used in the Tennant Creek area, inspecting legacy mine sites Orlando, Warrego, Nobles Nob and former Peko mine following heavy rainfall.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Vowles added that the resources industry played a key part in boosting the territory’s economy.

He said one of the main priorities of the government’s regional development plan is to support the development of Tennant Creek as a mining services hub for the Northern Territory.

“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,” Vowles said.

Vowels added that the territory government recently increased the minimum weighting of local content in all government quotes and tenders to 30 per cent.

The Legacy Mine Unit, however, requires 40 per cent local content.

“This is to ensure local businesses have a greater chance of winning the work, therefore supporting local jobs growth in the Territory,”  Vowles said.

The government also aims to ensure 40 per cent indigenous employment for contracts involving Tennant Creek region’s legacy mine programs.

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