Northern Prospectors Association

North Country Aerial: Drones and Mineral Exploration

Dan Larocque, a photogrammecist and certified UAV pilot, and Norm Hawriko presented work completed by North Country Aerial in the use of UAVs/drones for projects in Northern Ontario. Several case studies highlighted the applications of a high resolution camera fitted drone, as well as regulations on its use for projects in Northern Ontario. Results of previous projects to date showcased the creation of high resolution base maps created from the stitching together of hundreds of images to sub-meter accuracy. Elevation models including tree cover can be created through processing of field data are also possible using the surveys on offer by North Country Aerial. The 3D models include both the tree cover and elevation allowing for the creation of very realistic depictions of the survey area, as well as the isolation of the ground surface by removing tree coverage from the model.

Norm used an analogy comparing the cost of two STIHL chainsaws for completing these reconnaissance studies, stressing the large value-added nature of the data for its cost. Dan showed a case study detailing very accurate depictions of the Kanichee (Ajax) Mine located in the Temogami area, which took only one day to fly, covering an area of approximately 700 acres. They mentioned that costs are assessable if used in conjunction with other exploration work eligible for assessment credit.

Members of the NPA were impressed with the cutting edge nature of the technology. This vigor was matched by both Norm and Dan, who stressed the rapid technological advancements in sensors and data processing technology that act to continually improve and expand the data collection abilities of UAVs.

North Country Aerial is pleased to receive any inquiries about their work. More information can be found on their Facebook page, and promotional videos of their services are on Youtube. A website presenting their professional services is expected soon.