Scaling Success with Glencore: Launching a Drone Program Across 34 Sites with 300+ Pilots
Great. Well, it's been a couple weeks for this and a lot of requests. Everyone's been really keen to hear what you have to say. Andrew So you should feel very, very humbled by this.
But basically today, part of a series that's what really is doing is that the most questions we hear from other commercial drone pilots, the industry is what are the people doing in their industry? So everyone's to hear about how all the people are talking, tackling these challenges. It's still a relatively new sphere for a lot of world's, particularly the mining world. So we're very, very lucky today. Andrew, one of our one of our clients who fly freely has built an incredible drone program.
You see on the screen. They're training pilots across 34, 34 sites. And you got a lot of really great lessons. And I think from what he has to say in his experience, he's got a lot to share. And I think from the questions we receive over the last couple of years, I think would have hopefully answered a lot of ease and get people started on their journey. So
without further ado, I'll embarrass him and put his photo up on the screen and introducing Andrew. So thanks so much. Might be joining in. We've also got as well Dave Cole, our founder and CEO of Life really has been along with Andrew this journey so I'll throw it to you might tell us a bit about yourself, your professional background and why you're crazy enough to get so deep into drones. Well, the drone side of it actually is it's harks back to my earlier interest as a young teen at the age of 14. I was Flying Lotus, I was an elite cadet, started out there as a 12 year old.
And by that time, I had my heart set on going down the commercial side of flying or military flying at one stage. Got classes. That didn't happen when civil aviation 1989. This is where everyone looks at work and says, Why do I have such a strange looking air in my commercial license that in 1989 worked with air traffic services as well as a trainee? Then aviation went very quiet.
Eventually, I ended up back into the IT world, so why not try this new fangled I.T. thing? This is prior to the Internet went to there, worked 30 years in I.T. at various government agencies, local government, and eventually found my way into the mining sphere, getting into the drone side of it. Then a little idea that was started by my colleague who was our first our first our people and our first chief pilot.
We started our little project that was because we'd like to try this new fangled thing that these drone things will say, you know what? What can we do with them in mining in our job? So it started out as a pet project and sure enough, my colleague said, Well, if you want to get involved with this, you know, it's pretty good fun. It's something different and everything else you can get your drone license. Well, lo and behold, having a commercial pilot's license also was rather helpful.
So I managed to join the drone program and we started it out of Elan and the rest is history and that's how we ended up. So we end up in the drone program was by fate more than anything else. Or all good things are awesome, awesome and that probably leads pretty well into the next question there on the screen.
So I sort of going from using it as a pet project now it's often to the Glencore drone program. Can you tell us a bit about sort of where it started and what's it look like today? What's been that sort of journey step by step? It's been a fairly long journey, actually. The it did start out as a small side project under the tutelage of some of the people that are online today. I know a gentleman, the name of Mr. Don Cameron is now a bit of a bit of a legend in the the drone side of things.
And Don and I have been friends for a long, long time. We work as colleagues in various areas. In 2014, we thought, well, maybe we could try this drone idea.
We start flying. At the first drone we had was a phantom girl. Phantom three. Now the latest and greatest technology. Then we try to experiment with something a little bit bigger and actually got ourselves a Vulcan drone.
And this is, you know, it was a a bit of a learn as you go. It wasn't the major rules we had back then. It was still pretty much cutting edge. And we also had involvement with some universities also, and that was looking at applications for drones and things like stockpile management. One of the first projects where we did proved our worth with a drone was actually in that photo.
There is a one of our large conveyors and it has a large stabling cables to reinforcing has these large bolts that need inspection. Well, previously we would normally shut down into a conveyor for three days, put up scaffold, put up AWP. We were asked, what do you think? Do you think you can draw it with a drone so that we went with a phantom three did well, no one else had done that kind of thing before. And we use the Phantom three and we had the whole job done in 27 minutes. Would normally take three days to do so. So suddenly everyone, suddenly everyone started to take a little bit of interest that maybe these drone things could be could be a good idea.
And of course, there was a lot of other little pockets within Glencore or other sites that were all starting to do it. The surveyors were starting to certainly embrace drones. Then it came about a meeting in 2015 from our hierarchy, met with Don Cameron and he was crowned our first chief from my pilot and told you now the to lead this project so don't start at that project. Back then it was to you know, give the blueprint on how we should start our operations and what we needed to do and was pretty much promoted on that day in a way. We went has look today it's a lot larger than what it was initially.
It was only a couple program sort of commodities that were using the drones. Then. Now it encompasses all of Glencore Australia's operations, including copper, nickel, zinc and including our agricultural arm at calendar that deal with the cattle. So that's where we're at with that. And so Andrew, can you give us a bit of a sense of, you know, what is it, you know, for those that may not know, you know, what is the chief among all what what are their responsibilities and what they're in charge of? What's the job of the chief remote? Funnily enough, it was actually during we've been recently a part of Glencore war thing.
We're having our aviation audits and wellbeing audited by one of the aviation auditors and he simply explained to the chief remote pilot, you are the go between between the company and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. My job is the statutory role I'm responsible for, to ensure all of our pilots are trying to a standard. They follow the rules and regulations that have been set down by CASA. So there's a lot of that day to day work.
It's flight approvals, it's ensuring our drones are fully operational to ensure that they're ready to go at a moment's notice. And of course, with 34 sites that I do cover, I do have a little bit of help. I've actually brought senior my pilots and all of my sites.
I also look at new technologies coming in and gauge where it's going to go for us. The other side of it is I tend to stay away from more of the payload side of things, like whether it be cameras, sensors and everything else. I have an appreciation of them, but my role is to work out the best fit of drone solution that could do the job for us.
So that is my day to day role. Basically, if it's if it's got wings and roses and someone wants to talk to me about it, that I'm the person they say. You're the person responsible.
And so you quickly mention they see the chief, my pilot at the top. So and then is it so the senior my part you said. Cross underneath. That is that had sort of run across the 34 sites.
That's how it is run each site runs semi autonomously. They each operate in their own small silo, but they've got that overarching what would you call it, me being able to see over the top to to give them an idea about where they should be going and what the procedures. So the procedures are all the same across the board, but how they run them and who runs them, they run to those.
So, so, so a bit of an overwatch over the top. The guys the guys on the ground handle the day to day operations, ensuring who's flying those days and everything else. If it's a question, query or they need some assistance, that's where I step in and help them to make sure they can do their operations with us. Sorry. I'll just quickly jump in and just ask the audience if you've got any questions. Feel free to start asking them as we go, and then towards the end we'll actually respond to them.
And yeah, just just to give you a heads up, another another question for you, Andrew. You mentioned just before there was there was that meeting where you had Don engaged senior management, and senior management said go for it. And then that created this dedicated role. What a how important is it to have a dedicated person focused on this? And then to for those that are struggling out there to get that support? Any or any tips or suggestions for them to try and build that high level support so they can take it to the next level. I think the we were very fortunate.
We did have some very enlightened leadership that did say, look, this is a it's a really big project. There's no doubt it is. Also, we're fairly fortunate, having come from the mining world where a lot of our regulations and safety and everything else was very similar in parallel to what it is in aviation. So in our case it made sense.
There was no point in having everything distributed everywhere and everyone having multiple leaders everywhere. We needed that one focus point. And when it comes to having to deal with dealing with the OP as industry and everything else, it's good having that single point of contact and having someone that can look after that problem. You know, I don't necessarily look at survey issues with the drone. I won't be looking at whether they are looking at an engineering issue with a drone. I'm looking at making sure drones are flying safely and that they can do the task at hand to do the mission.
So it's sort of that separation that you do need. And that's how we've we pretty much mentioned that's how the company sought to to have that single person at the top level made a lot of easy. It made a lot easier, you know, there's always the big question, is, Richard larger, the organization you are as well, who do we say? Who do who do we know? Who's the who's the subject matter expert? Well, in this case, it's from my pilot. That's who you see.
It simplifies things, especially the larger the organization you are. Absolutely, as you said, a sort of question come through. Don't hold that off to the end. And I went.
Yeah, yeah, we can hold that one up until the end of something awesome. Keep going through it. And like I said, pretty questions very if we jump, assuming you guys want to hear. Great. The next question. So what has been the biggest lessons learned along the way? And I'm sure there have been many, but obviously from last point, the biggest one, I think a lot of people, at least from my reflection, like all the teams that some are very, very early on, have just stopped outsourcing that review to the short run process. And I think is pretty common question of like what what roadblocks, what red flags, what what are the big scary things that we sort of need to be thinking about when when people start their journey? I was going to say, you tend to say you learn from your mistakes.
And gee, we learned a lot. You certainly did. They look at some of the biggest lessons is this one is is the cultural change as well. Let's let's be honest.
You know, you can pick up a drone at JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and everything else. So there is that perception still even in some areas of management that it's a drone, it's just a toy. It's certainly not the same value of a multi-million dollar piece of mining equipment, yet it does value add to the company and when it's not there, it is not adding value to the company. In some cases, you know, it can create great difficulty that these drones are out there.
They're doing their jobs and everything else. And when they're not, they're being able to do the job. There's that bit of a reliance upon them.
So the cultural change is the biggest change of the lot. That's also coming back to even the pilots. I think I have the the biggest thing I've said to the parts when I first took on the role was as far as I'm concerned, if you are a surveyor, if you're an environmental staff, if you're an asset manager or you're in production while you're flying a drone, you are a drone pilot.
And that's first and foremost, that's how you should be thinking your your role as a surveyor or your other role that you do work as a secondary role as part of the task. And that that was a bit of a shift for a lot of our stuff that we're taking up into the drone world because initially 50 was 50%, 60% of our pilots were surveyors. You're you're. On that.
And also with that, we're going to with the 300 pilots at the 34 sites. And you often share with us how you sort of go when you saw it, train them up big. You want to train, get the senior pilots. And I guess logistically speaking, if you were to do that again, what are some things you might change or at least make it a bit smoother or. Yes. Well, I think the one is is to definitely probably have a more use of things like teams and things like that.
That was a big issue for us. But also for me, there is a lot of the time that you do have to be on site. And I think the one thing is, is to trust your crews and your pilots to go out and do the task at question, make them feel that you're approachable to that you're not. I think the big issue is there's always that fear of a crash, the drone, I'm going to be in trouble and everything else. Mistakes happen.
Drones crash, it happens. Bad weather, it happens. The main thing is, is to not have that blind culture unless it's course it's something that that have done something incredibly stupid. But you don't want the blame culture. What you want is the learning culture that okay, a mistake was made. We try to send that issue out to as many of our pilots as well.
We can avoid that in the future. Learn by your mistakes. It's a it's the big adage we have. Most of them.
And one of the one there, too, I know we spoke a couple weeks ago. And you mentioned we sort of a couple of hours to get teams. So different sites up and running and then you've got it down to a couple of minutes.
That might be a pretty exaggeration, but you sort of cut that time down hugely. We we did actually the going to the floor for implementation. It started initially. I think we took six months, I think, to do our first site and that was learning for us. It was a very big, steep learning curve.
It was learning to use the system and my pilots had to learn how to use the system. And of course, by that stage we realized we have so many sites, we're not going to be able to go out to each site. And so the mistakes that we did learn in that initial rollout, we applied, okay, is there a better way we can do that? And that was we took that back road out our our plan and said, well, this worked.
This went really well, but there is a better way we can do things. And thus we started using your example the, the tools of, you know, having our, the, the other capacity of the flight for the program was to run dummy missions with dummy dummy drones and everything else. And they could actually go through the whole process. And then it was to use teams and I was actually eventually doing one on ones. So we used the, the practice area pretty much as like a sandbox that they could play and make the mistakes and learn how to work it. And then I'd come over the top and we'd learn best practice for that and work out the, the way we should be doing it.
And you also get feedback from your own pilots to that. They think, well, maybe there's a better way we can do this, can it do it? And we took on that feedback, too. And that's that's helped a hell of a lot, too, to make more of a success.
And once you start doing that becomes very intuitive too. So awesome. And it's made our life a lot easier. So now my trips to site a really just the consolidation side of it and just to go and see how they are using it and just pick up if there's any small issues that they've got and correct those and maybe bring ideas that have come from other sites and see what they think as well. Absolutely. Absolutely.
I think seeking feedback and then I think any technology over implementation across any sort of mind. So it's always a cultural change. Management is always the biggest piece. So so gradually hearing the feedback. I think I was fairly I think I was fairly lucky having come from an I.T.
background where, you know, small steps make smaller disasters. Yeah underwrote that they're awesome so and I guess for one was so for others in the similar position we sort of touched on a few pieces there giving off the use sort of saying seek advice from people, have a hierarchy from the chief remote pilot downwards. Was there anything else on the air? I've got a question on a point, but were there any other pieces of advice to people starting this journey or maybe partway through it? Really what you could look at this with your driving program is and you've got to really look at it from CASA's perspective as well. And that is we're an airline, we don't have an air, we always operate certificate, but we have a rock. We operate under pilots don't have commercial pilots licenses, they have our ipl's or subtwo kilo.
You're required to do maintenance. You're required to look your flights. You know, as far as we're concerned, try to luck an airline. Run it like an airline. The patterns of air. It's been done before and it works so that's my advice on that.
And and you can scale that to, you know, if you've got you know, if you've got five drones, two drones, 300 drones, it wouldn't make any difference to you if you just using the exact same systems. Absolutely. And I'll see you Tuesday, but I guess is one your questions you're interested to unpack. Yeah. And I think I think one of the really interesting things Glencore does is, you know, they operate a lot of particular drones, but they actually don't operate them exclusively under the exclusive category rules.
Let's just still apply the rules. So yeah, I thought would be interesting because it's a question we get asked a lot. You know, what do we do? Do we split the split the fleet? Do we run a roll on the rail? So you're not likely to talk on that on that topic, the pros and cons of doing that. Look, we were very fortunate. Don was a bit of a visionary because at the time we did operate one very large drone and a couple of smaller ones, and it didn't make sense to have two separate systems for such a when the also going to be under the same rules and regulations for us.
The SO was decided we would operate our ops all of our up as subject kilo and our appeals under the same rail. The reasoning behind that was we didn't want to create two separate systems and manage two separate systems. It's hard enough as it is, to try and manage one system across a large area. The bonuses to that sub two kilo pilots are restricted to only operations over our ground space, so they're inside their own little sandbox to play.
They basically they've really just a flying over. If you really look at it, the smaller drones you don't really want them to you know the roles they're doing, the tasks they're doing don't require them to hold an RPO per say. They're not flying a large multi rotor, they're not flying longer ranges. The other thing is too is we also have a fairly extensive Subtwo Kilo training program that's done internally with another third party proponent of providing that the theory training and we go out and are cleared to do our own assessments so we assess our own pilots. And it's very handy because it creates that the subtwo kilo drones are just really small tools in their armory, whether it be an bar or whether it be an asset manager, whether it be a manager who wants to go and have a look, a part of a site where there's been an issue. He just needs to get a drone up in the air, run it 100 meters away.
It's easier and faster them to do that. And they've been signed off as we are under a couple rules that under our mining rules that you can't operate at any other equipment unless you've been signed off and proven to be competent. So we had that own internal system done for us. The other beauty of it is too, is that because the Subtwo Kilo pilots are under the same system as they're all replaced, once they start getting that sub to killer experience, it's a little bit easier to transition them to become our appeals later on.
They've already got that flying experience. They've already flown under the same system. And for them, it's all the the only difference is now different rules, larger drones, a few more capabilities. And that transition's a lot easier than, say, coming up from now. I've been a surveyor for 20 years and I'm now having to fly a name 300 and I've got 5 hours on the steaks.
But some of these guys have now got 50, 60, 70 hours flying subtwo kilo, drones, subject kilo on site. It's a fairly easy transition for them to go to an M 300 or something larger. It also poses a more more sort of flexibility up to sort of weight. They can jump between different jobs with a fantastic keep going on down to the next one.
So we got what I guess, what's the biggest focus for the next 12 months? I used to the air space question one or three years, but that's too crazy right now. So I think for the next couple of months of we spoke a little bit earlier, what are you guys prioritizing or what are you most excited for? Is not the way I should frame it of it. What were you thinking of taking the drone program next for us? At the moment, it's it's going to be a lot of consolidation. You know, the first plan was to from going back to the fly friendly aspect of it. You know, the first plan was to roll it out, get it to sites, get the pilots to use it.
The next stage is now is going to be consolidating it. It's going to be rolling in the maintenance side of it, rolling in some of the training schedules, making more use of it now, getting some hard and fast data out of it to show what our operations are doing. And that's already starting to happen.
So and I've also got another aspect of taking on our farming community that we have under our arm to introduce them to the fly friendly program. So that's going to be something that's out of scope. It's it's not part of the mining side of things. And of course the other one definitely be veloce. I've actually got our first part sort of going through there. There are four OP has at the moment waiting to do their exams.
So we already do have a lost one signed on to to go and do that. So we're going to start making some more use of that. And of course now with the changes that have coming in with what we've been used to, now everyone under the same system is a mess of rewrote of operations manuals. You know, our manuals and the world for free up private previously were of course for an age you know, five years ago, six years ago. So they're going to need a massive revamp.
And we just found a better way of doing things. And now we're coming in with a lot more knowledge than what we had previously. So so is a bit of work day with CASA in working together with him to ensure that we've got those down pat for ourselves. Also also keep them in. Excellent looking at time. We're doing pretty well so far.
So the yeah I mean I'll say a shameless sales book, but I guess the update from from your side of things have left really sort of helpful in that way. You've mentioned it's been part of the scaling process, but I guess why did you sort of choose to go in this direction and how were they used before? Five, really? And I guess what's changed after after you've implanted. Prior to flush, really? Who would we say? You can imagine 34 sites doing three or four different things. And it was it was a case of it wasn't a failing of the earlier system. It was a case that the system grew faster than, well, the implementation of ops in the company grew faster than what the system could hold that capacity.
We did have a the initial core was it actually an in-house developed SharePoint system that we were using it? It's certainly outgrown the system. It outgrown itself. We did look at maybe revamping in that rather than going off the shelf. Some sites did do their own thing and had their own little small systems in place. And of course there was lots of some sites that were also using copious amounts of paper and to do them and heaven forbid there was one or two sites that were doing anything at all that sort of escaped the net. We had.
So when Don did decide to to change and and had gone into to retire, I took on the role for 12 months prior. And first thing I did realize was if someone asked me the question of what's going on on this site and everything else, or can we get information about these other sites? It was going to be awfully hard to do. So I would had to have gone through 34 different systems to get that information out. Being asked how many flights do we do per month? I couldn't honestly tell you that that's exactly how many we were doing.
It was a rough guess, so it was a biblical system seeking ishow finite was the only way we could do it now and now, with the system that we looked at, we did look at a plethora of other systems in place. What we were looking for was a system that could be flexible. We are a large organization, but we still wanted to have the ability for our sites to have that little bit of individuality as well and to to be mark to manage their own little operation.
But with that larger oversight from the CIO up above. So you're all following the same rules following the same book, but you're still managing your own little areas. So that takes the pressure off me. I just make sure that they are doing it free. It was one of the few options that allowed us to do that, and that's why we did do it. So the big kicker was having that fear of, you know, someone's going to start asking for lots of information and being able to get that information in a timely fashion and how we're using it today, it's nearly rolled out to all of our sites.
Got one or two sites to to complete. I just did a roll out to a site in Western Australia recently and very successfully the my pilots now also have the one of the one of the great godsend for us was having the chaff from our pilot tools. I think I've I think the guy was there pretty much it was it was like the holy Grail for us because it was having the ability to approve flights on a mobile phone and coming from a system that was sitting on an old SharePoint system that required me to have my NPC logged into our network to to ensure it happened. That made it rather difficult.
And I, my senior, my pilots can now also use that tool. So that's made life a lot easier. Having the ability to have your up just days and your flight planning and everything else now on a mobile phone.
And of course, you can realize that some of their minds are not in the most places where there's great vast amounts of telecommunications on them. Having that off line capability, too, has been very, very handy for our guys. So we're actually getting quality of information now and quality of our logging also. So it's great to sorry I interrupted. Going to say I think our product team always quotes you were saying we need to thank Andrew for that, for the functionality. So I think he's got you on the wall for our product team.
So I think it was more of a case. I was annoying them a lot too, and I think my senior pilots were also annoying them quite a lot. Which is which is good. That's you know, that's that's been a bonus not on.
I know. Look look every every product has pitfalls has everything else and look is fly fairly perfect. Yeah, there's there's always work to be done but it does the job that we require to do and it does it very, very well. So end of story.
As far as I'm concerned, it's an excellent tool. Fantastic. Thanks so much for that feedback. Blogging, Shameless plug, case study on that one. But put it this way, my stress levels are way, way down when it comes to the administration side of things now.
Done they get that sounds good also and I think the other ones were some of the questions we've got. I think from from the feedback from those who've registered, I can probably coach the time we can combine both of these to a single question. But I guess looking towards the future so I've done a pass has been set up. What are some of the current trends that you're sort of seeing, particularly maybe drones in mining specifically, but maybe drones in general that that you think we need to be more cautious or paying closer attention to? And then part of that is, I think one of the caveats of that is, is a lot of the drone, the box stuff is coming forward. So yeah, I would love to get your thoughts on what's happening in that space for you.
Look, drone in a box is a look having come from the I.T. world and everything else and pre-Internet and everything else, too. There's always lots of wonderful ideas coming in and, you know, great technology and everything else, but it's a matter of finding a use for it. And I think it's taking that step back and saying, Well, okay, yeah, look, the technology's great.
It looks like a great system, but how is it actually going to work for us? And that's what we're at the moment. We're saying, well, where does this fit into our strategy? What what can we see it doing? Drawing the boxes is a great idea for, especially with regard to in some more remote areas, having our guys being able to, you know, if we don't have stuff on site or that might be busy with other things. Yeah, I think maybe that be a very good option for us to look at and that's something we are starting to do. The I think what you're also going to see is probably a more formalized training regime towards app has now is are becoming more sophisticated as we are moving more to be loss I think you might find is going to be a little bit more on the training side of things and recency which we're going to see as well, falling more into line with what crewed aviation is. You know, as it is now that we've a lot of our pilots, for example, hold multi roles. They are surveyors, they are environmental managers, they are whatever.
But there is only one full time ops pilot being myself, so that's probably going to be a bit of a change in future to and it's not necessarily the the app has themselves that are I changing it's a bit like computing you know they still do the same job, it's still same tool. They might be doing it faster. I think we've got to look at is the technology surrounding the app as whether it be, you know, new hydrogen fuel cells, whether it's going to be, you know, better batteries, safer batteries that could provide greater endurance for a smaller system, smaller, more efficient sensors that we're going to fit onto them. What we're going to know, what payloads are we going to bolt on to them? Are we going to be requiring bigger drones? For some things, cargo drones is something that we're certainly having an idea at and looking at for some of the smaller items that we tend to use over some of the larger distances.
And I think if you look at the growth of our has at the moment, I think we've got more rocks out there than we do have airways operating certificates at the moment. I think it was about 250 extra above and beyond that's in Gaza now. So it's only going to get bigger, but I think it's going to start to consolidate the things that will change is the surrounding technologies, the telecommunications, the the types of payloads we're getting.
They're going to be smaller drones, they're going to be bigger drones. Now, I think the example was the the old Phantom was replaced in the DJI fleet with a smaller drone. Yeah, that that does happen too. Are we going to look at micro drones, something even smaller that's going to be used, get endurance? Absolutely. That's a great point.
And I think we've got about ten more minutes left and there's a bunch of questions coming in. So I might to. Take some questions. Yeah, go for it. Dave Awesome. So first on will kick off with is one from Clint. Question around rolling over your historical data and I guess it's a broader question of you know, you cut over to a system like fly freely.
What do you do with your historical records? How do you handle that transition? I'm fairly lucky being part of a very large multinational is often a very, very good I.T and is a team that can handle it for me. They will be looking at archiving now for me, the paper records of course that they're pretty much to site and they just follow the standard as I do for the normal records act that they would do. We did do a historical transfer for some of our data that did come in, especially our flying hours, I think, Dave, when we did our conversion over to our sites for address. So it is a I think in most cases it's going to be whatever it is under your local records act that you have to follow.
And that's what we've been doing. So but yeah, if they're electronic records, it was easier just to walk off them. Yeah. Someone to do the job for us and that's what we've done. Also got another question on regards to flight logging from Darren.
Really, you know, probably getting into the weeds a bit, but understanding how the team actually captures their flight logs. It's meant to fly freely. And this this probably comes to a bit of a broader question, which you really didn't discuss is the fleet and how that changes with different different drones in the fleet.
Yep. We do have a big mix of flights over a substantially a lot of them are the DJI series Drones. We also have Winter and we have Trinity and we're looking at introducing some new ones later down the future that we'll have a look at later on. The beauty of it is the the system. I've left that up to my sites, my my argument.
I want the logs on there from the drone. The product allows many ways of doing that. Some of my guys are quite happy to download them straight from the console. Others are quite happy to use the Fly Freely app that's on the console. It's been installed.
Others are quite happily to use the DJI clap and let it auto synchronize. Yep, we've documented all those processes and I let the guys on site determine how they do that and what's efficient and what's easier for them and suits their operation. So it gives them that flexibility to do it. The end line of overreached oversight is you must have your log on there. Before we finalized
and that's how we run those. So I've I've deferred to my senior remote pilots to determine for their sites. Awesome. I've got one that's probably Poppy.
But probably the hard part is there are so many ways to do it that there is this by. Encircling and then depending on the make and model of the drone, then, you know, you're limited in certain ways and other. So it gets quite complex. Got another question from Craig. This might be a little bit specific, but in terms of the team, they're doing structural inspections and do you have any insights into sort of how effective or that those inspections have been? Some of our sites have them, again, being such a diverse company that we are some sorts of boring third parties to do them. It depends on the situation.
I know the guys that were doing the as one of my nearby sites here, they were doing roof inspections and, reconstruction that was fairly effective for them. They didn't have to have people on a roof that worked for them. The ones that are the guys that are doing patrols over conveyors, looking for thermal hot spots, issues they previously they were walking up and down conveyors. Now they're flying a drone over that's been a lot more efficient, a lot faster for them.
They can pinpoint things quicker. So the asset side of it is depends again on the site, depends on the resources that are available at the site, how they want to do it. And I've left that pretty much up to their devices to determine which way they want to jump with this. The good news about it is once one site does it, the other sites tend to communicate that to each other.
It tends to follow through flow on. Excellent. Got it. Got a bit of a recurring theme here with this question. I guess it's just about you know I does Glencore use external contractors and B if you do use those contractors, do they fall under your procedures and how does that work? That's actually a. Very, very good question.
It gets even worse from my own sites when they contact me. We are the they yeah, we do have contractors that sometimes fill full time employee positions. So for example, we might have a surveyor that comes from a contracting company who's going to fill a position that we've started to fill with a contractor as opposed to a full time position. For whatever reason, I haven't been able to fill the full time position. If that pilot has a surveyor or that staff, the way of contracting has a an RPO. We induct them into our system and they fall under our rail.
If basically if they're flying our ops, they fall under our rock and an air rules, if it's a third party and they're operating under their own rock, I trust that they will be. We do our checks and balances on them and they fly under their real. Yep, that's their responsibility. And what we do is the, the if if it's a I think I can use a very good example recently of a wearing a some specialized pest, especially for our agricultural type things where we're doing spraying or where we're doing reseeding. For example, we're unlikely to hold large agricultural drones in our fleet.
Those guys come in, they liaise with our local senior pilots. So we have traffic separation. And for information purposes, we'll have we'll have knowledge of their flights. So we know what's going on.
So everyone knows what's happening and they fly their rock straight away. It falls under their system. And yeah, you've got to have a bit of trust in the system we are looking at because Glencore is a signatory to the boss program with the Flight Safety Foundation is that eventually we'll be looking at our up has operators have to hold the pass for ops accreditation as well. What a great segway because there's a question about last it was you know. I didn't know what I mean by that question. You know, dealing with the compliance side of bars.
I guess also, you know, you'll have, you know, being part of a key representatives on on the committees within bars for our pass and you know. Yeah. Where do you see all that going and yeah. Into the future. Well look it's already within Glencore Australia that the requirement is to have bar accreditation for crewed aviation. We are looking at the next stage within the next 18 to 24 months to have that also for our ops community.
So if you have you BIOS accreditation, definitely do it just as a sideline to that. Once I've got my floor fairly rolled out and all of my sites are on there and and I'm quite happy with it will also be going for bars accreditation to basically be audited under the bar system to make sure we are fully functioning, we're capable of doing what we're doing and it'll be it'll be a good reflection on see to gauge how well our operations are and how efficient we are being. So yeah. So if any operators out there be worried about having to do a bar accreditation and do the audit, that's okay. We're going to be doing it too, so we'll be fine. So
it's nothing. Nothing to be feed it. It is. It's set, check and balanced to have that feeling that you are doing things right. And I think it's not a thing to be feared or worried about to have to do it. You know, put it this way, I think you'd rather have scrutiny from flight safety Foundation, the Boss program, than you would from the CASA inspector.
Yeah, sure, I'm sure. Have a good time there. So we good talk with one more question. I have one from from one of the registrants, but I'm cautious.
I want to give it to them. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. We still got a bunch still.
But I just don't think we're going to get to the one awesome. Venue of the ones. Maybe we can follow them up after this if we run out time. But we have time for one more.
Is that right? Yeah, that I'm good. Yeah, I'm good. We have one more day going to give one of the loved ones, sir. Oh, I thought you. I thought you said you had one. So we got point for that one. This is one of the registrants who signed up, said, what's Glencore's future plans for drones in terms of mine rehabilitation? That's a very, very good question.
Actually, I have some of my parts are the environmental stuff. The rehab side of it was the last three years I've actually trained more of our environmental stuff and I have surveys the especially for one of our larger projects at Newlands, which is undergoing heavy rehab at the moment for the next seven years at least. And we've had our OP has operations at Liddell and Meadow and at our former mine at Balboni and West Wales, and we've been doing it for quite a while. A lot of them are doing survey standard, survey work, standard photography work, and now we're introducing multispectral capability where we're actually looking and gauging the amount of rehab that's being done versus how much weight infestation, what's happening there and doing those kind of controls.
So it's if anything, it's it's probably going to be something that's going to be a lot more of as opposed to production in time as as the the the changing situation of the industry happens. So so that is a definite big one that my guys have been out there doing the work. In fact, I've got some flight checks to do soon about that. So fantastic. Well we've all been to the question David and with missed might chase up to make sure of it so yeah. We'll follow it there's a few there we can respond to post so you will get an answer.
You will get an Anton. Definitely. Awesome. Well, thank you. I hopefully with a coherent answer and a useful answer for you too. That'd be great. Preferably. We'll do our best.
Awesome. Well, thanks again, Mike. Really appreciate your time. And a busy man. So hopefully little people make all the money out of it. So thanks so much for your time. And yeah, anyone has any questions about today? Feel free.
There's a lot less slide that we'll send out to recording after this. But any questions? Send us an email and we can trace up with Andrew the same. Yeah. Okay.
Go Dave. Sorry. Before Andrew finishes, I'll just say any other topics people you know are interested in keen on.
Please drop us a line, let us know. We'll try and do that in the future. But final words to you. Enter.
Yeah look a big thank you to everyone for for listening in. When I was asked an approach to do it, yes, I did have absolute fear and panic. Thank you to everyone that did darling is appreciate it thank you. And makes it that maybe I'm doing a good enough job sometimes you do second question second guess yourself doing this role so and thank you for making it very, very well less painful than what it could have been. We like it nice and relaxed. Absolute that right here. Well, thanks so much. Bye.
And yeah, we'll catch up very soon. Very well. So take care.