"SafeSight has found the people who want to embrace innovation and they have found value in our products, which has enabled us to rapidly develop technologies and put them into actual practice. The mining sector is looking to digitally enable itself in one form or another."
What was your vision and motivation to create Safesight Exploration?
Our collective intention was twofold. We felt that we could make a great contribution to the digital transformation platform in mining and that the technology would dramatically change the level of safety in the mining industry. All of the technology that we use in our innovations is really at the bottom of its evolutionary curve and has nowhere to go but upwards. SafeSight’s team of experts has applied a passion for thinking and seeing things differently beyond the latest drone, LiDAR, battery and camera technology and toward client challenges underground. The result has led to collaborations with leaders in the digital transformation of mining and the creation of step change solutions.
How has the company evolved through its collaborations with mining industry partners?
We have just celebrated the one year anniversary of Newmont’s underground drone program collaboration with SafeSight. Their team have been believers from the get-go and had the attitude of wanting to lead digital transformation to a higher level of production and safety. This high-profile partnership has led to collaborations with Redpath Mining, Wesdome Gold Mines and Barrick. We are starting to realize that although drones are our first love, we are becoming a company that solves problems with innovative technologies rather than limiting ourselves to one type of technology. We can essentially become the technology extension of an innovation manager in a mine. With digital transformation, mines are appointing innovation leaders, but they do not always have the infrastructure from a technology perspective to give them the tools to innovate. For a company to thrive they need to continuously innovate and Safesight is capable of being the partner that leads this march.
Do you think the mining sector has started to embrace new technologies and innovation?
Currently, there is a lot of noise but still not enough action. There are a few companies that want to be first and want to lead the industry, but the majority are more conservative and take a first to be second strategy. Fortunately, SafeSight has found the people who want to embrace innovation and they have found value in our products, which has enabled us to rapidly develop technologies and put them into actual practice. The mining sector is looking to digitally enable itself in one form or another.
Can you explain the benefits of SafeSight’s DB3 drone technology?
SafeSight’s leading product with the most demand is the DB3 LiDAR enabled drone technology. This product is ideal for surface or underground georeferenced LiDAR scans and has the benefit of increased safety, improved reconciliation, reduced dilution and improved block scheduling. This rugged utility drone integrates the latest LiDAR technology with an open platform flight controller and has the ability to go anywhere that a human should not go. The time for collecting data is also significantly reduced with the DB3 product being able to do a complete scan in approximately 15 minutes.
We like to proliferate the technology with clients by selling them an activation model where they actually have to activate the program with intention. It usually starts with clients using Safesight for a few service calls, after which they will buy the technology and go through a training program so they can progress on their own. As we get to know a client, we start to recognize some of the challenges they run into. We have therefore developed other tools such as robots and trucks for LiDAR enabled ground support, which is ideal for high risk or high ventilation areas where drone flight may not be feasible.
How will the company manage growth as its technologies and services continue to gain traction?
We have become highly efficient in innovation, project development and manufacturing, using lean methods and agile project management strategies and can thus do a lot with few people. We are trying to be mindful of our resource growth and we are very selective with who we work with. We choose our clients as much as they choose us, which allows for every implementation to be successful.