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Yancoal boosts survey efficiency, safety, and frequency with HubX trial

Published by Josh Spires on 11 July, 2024, updated on 11 July, 2024.

Yancoal boosts survey efficiency, safety, and frequency with HubX trial

Yancoal, a leading coal producer in Australia, partnered with Sphere Drones to trial HubX at their remote Mount Thorley site in New South Wales. The trial aimed to demonstrate how HubX could streamline and enhance mining operations through automation, increase the frequency of aerial data collection, and improve personnel safety by reducing exposure to potentially hazardous environments.


Yancoal's Survey Superintendent and Chief Remote Pilot, Adrian Wall, reached out to Sphere Drones with a clear objective: to implement a drone solution capable of operating efficiently in their challenging mining environment. The goal was to leverage advanced technology to automate routine tasks, enhance data collection, and ensure the safety of their personnel.

Adrian Wall added, "We first found out about HubX when we were searching for Drone-in-a-Box solutions to automate and minimise some of the time spent by surveyors in the field. HubX is innovative, turnkey, and portable.

Adrian explained the specific challenges faced at Mount Thorley, where the remote location and harsh conditions made regular data collection and monitoring a difficult task. The focus was to ensure operational efficiency while significantly enhancing the safety of their team.



Our team, in collaboration with Yancoal’s technical experts, identified HubX as the optimal solution. HubX is an advanced drone platform designed to operate in remote and challenging environments. It features a modular payload with DJI’s drone-in-a-box solution, automated flight capabilities, high-resolution cameras, and advanced data processing tools.

The trial involved deploying HubX at Mount Thorley, where it showcased its ability to perform consistent and reliable aerial surveys. The drone’s automation features enabled regular data collection without the need for manual intervention, significantly reducing the risk to personnel.



The HubX platform integrated seamlessly with Yancoal’s existing systems, providing real-time data and analytics that supported informed decision-making. The ability to conduct frequent surveys meant Yancoal could closely monitor their operations, identifying potential issues before they became critical.

"HubX is a hardware platform that the team at Sphere Drones has spent the best part of 15 months developing. It is designed to support continuous and uninterrupted self-sustaining drone operations, providing a turnkey solution for remote environments. The integration of solar power, automated flight operations, and comprehensive situational awareness makes HubX a game-changer for industries like mining." - Paris Cockinos, CEO and Founder of Sphere Drones


HubX bvlos


The trial of HubX at Mount Thorley was a resounding success for Yancoal, delivering a substantial increase in the frequency and quality of aerial data collection. The automated operations not only streamlined workflows but also freed up personnel to focus on higher-value tasks.

Most importantly, the implementation of HubX significantly enhanced safety at the site. By automating routine data collection and monitoring tasks, personnel were less exposed to the hazardous conditions typically associated with mining operations.

Adrian Wall highlighted the benefits of HubX, stating, "HubX has the ability to reduce the surveyor time in the field and allow them to value add to the business through increased data collection and time savings. HubX can help with automated data capture to meet our daily operational requirements. HubX includes everything you need to roll out a BVLOS operation."

Yancoal’s successful trial at Mount Thorley has set a new benchmark for mining operations, demonstrating how advanced drone technology can drive efficiency and safety in even the most challenging environments.

Jonathan Van Wyk, a Statutory Mine Surveyor at Yancaol added, "HubX provides a solution for compliance data capture quickly and safely. This has a lot of potential in remote locations that struggle to attract surveyors, giving a survey team a turnkey operation that can be deployed in a short period of time and can provide ongoing survey data collection in isolated areas."

If you would like to find out more about HubX and how it can take your operations to the next level, get in touch with our team via the form below or give us a call on 1800 119 111.

Interested? Talk to our team

For inquiries or more information, please fill out the form below, and our team will contact you as soon as we can.

Interested? Talk to our team

For inquiries or more information, please fill out the form below, and our team will contact you as soon as we can.

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