"The willingness to adapt new technology to whatever operational framework already exists is most important. The technology is positively disruptive and has repercussions across the entire cycle, and when used correctly the ROI is significant."
In December 2019, SafeSight had completed over 100 flights and celebrated a one-year anniversary at Newmont’s Porcupine operations. Can you provide examples of some of the projects the company has worked on in 2020?
Some of SafeSight’s partners and customers include Agnico Eagle, IAMGOLD, Pan American Silver, Wesdome, Barrick and Vale. We are also involved at several of Newmont’s sites, where the technology has been in operation for 24 months. We continue to broaden our connection with major operators and leverage our drone innovation to create a series of underground transformations in shaft maintenance, as well as standard ground-support areas. SafeSight has a trifecta of services that utilizes LiDAR and high definition video technologies in drones, ground-based vehicles, rails and robotics.
What type of mine is best suited to the use of Safe Sight technology?
Rather than the state of the mine, the most important determinant for collaboration is the state of mind of its leadership. The operational flow and the sophistication of the site can be different, but that does not make the technology a better fit or less of a fit at the operation. The willingness to adapt new technology to whatever operational framework already exists is most important. The technology is positively disruptive and has repercussions across the entire cycle, and when used correctly the ROI is significant.
What type of cost benefits would using SafeSight’s technology give a company?
Operations that use SafeSight treble their survey production thanks to the ease of use of the technology. The same crew can do 300 surveys per year where they previously did 100. There is three times the digital data to make decisions around reconciliation, compliance and GUAC modelling – which changes the operational flow. Importantly, the technology is tailor-made to each project. Traditional forensic shaft assessments take 36 hours, but our technology can do the same process in four hours and without human risk. We have created a risk assessment matrix for the drone-enabled Lidar package which allows technology adaptability and ensures it is meeting the specific needs of the environment – for example in matters of ventilation. Those capabilities demonstrate a minimum US$250,000 ROI within six months.
An important area of savings is in reconciliation block modelling. Drones capture 95% of data whereas alternative traditional surveying tools capture 50%. That means that operators are no longer guessing at 45% of the data. Tonnage per day collection is improved by time efficiencies and better surveying. The financial downstream impact far exceeds the investment – not to mention the safety improvements linked to removing the human element.
You previously mentioned that mines are appointing innovation leaders, but do not always have the infrastructure to innovate. How can SafeSight support clients in this regard?
We have in place a partnering model that allows us to be shoulder to shoulder with the innovation team while they activate new technologies. It allows us to adapt the products to their reality. Our approach is to digitally train the user until the technology is fully operational, instead of selling a stand-alone product. This allows innovation leaders the support to make use of the full potential of the technology.
What is your strategy to develop the business in different markets?
We are focusing on communicating the replicability of the benefits across operations. Additionally, the work comes with collaterals such as risk assessment matrixes and pilot efficiency structures. We have resources in Chile and Mexico and are looking for representation at a global level in Europe. SafeSight’s model does not rely on resellers, but rather partners that have the ability to directly influence the manufacturers of the technology to meet the needs of each operation.
What vision do you have for SafeSight in the next two years?
We would like to be recognized for revolutionizing shaft maintenance, and hope to increase the use and uptake of mechanized rail climber technology. We want to continue to deploy our technology in Canadian mines, and also penetrate markets abroad. Finally, we are working in innovations in mine rescue, applying our technologies to search and rescue platforms.