Maximizing mining productivity and safety

Emesent pioneered the use of autonomous drones in underground stope mapping, ensuring a safer and more efficient mapping workflow than previous techniques. Now extending to other applications in mining, including capturing Digital Twins, Hovermap is essential to providing operational insights at some of the biggest mines worldwide.

Offering a uniquely versatile mine mapping solution, Hovermap can be deployed on a drone to provide autonomous mapping in stopes and vertical shafts, convergence monitoring in drifts, evaluation of new blast designs, and an accurate, up-to-date picture of inaccessible areas. It can also be used as a vehicle-mounted scanner to capture drives or lowered down raises and orepasses in a cage.




A quick Hovermap scan captures high resolution data to output high accuracy volumetrics for over/ under break calculations, volumetric reconciliations, material dilution and backfill paste scheduling.


Hovermap provides improved awareness of ground and structural conditions and better visibility of hazards for mitigation before they become a problem. For example, shadows in CMS scanning may hide an overhang at the edge of the stope that could be fatal.


Remove personnel from hazardous areas by capturing high resolution point cloud data with a Hovermap-mounted drone, eliminating the need for risky capture methods like CMS or for personnel to go near a bund or drawpoint.


The high resolution, shadowless data provided by Hovermap can assist with compliance with regulations like bund height and positioning, improving the safety of your mine


Surveyors using Hovermap are able to capture data of voids and drifts up to 75% faster than using previous methods. Hovermap’s remote autonomy capabilities allow surveyors to carry out scans quickly. Accurate, complete data allows for more confident planning, resulting in fewer production delays and reduced operating costs.


Capture rich, 3D, shadowless images from previously inaccessible areas with Hovermap’s autonomous capabilities. Investigate old workings that may have been untouched for over a century for reopening quickly and safely.


The detail of Hovermap scans allow for a richer understanding of geological structures and to assist in identifying deformations. Hovermap scans can help identify and track joint sets and faults throughout the rock mass. Repeat scans of drifts, orepasses, and chutes make it easy to monitor for change and track deformation over time to assist with identifying potential fall-of-ground areas.


The same unit used autonomously underground can be used above ground as a drone-mounted, vehicle-mounted, handheld, or backpack-mounted scanner. Use it to capture stockpile volumes or infrastructure for digital twin creation, condition monitoring, or rehabilitation planning.

Underground Mining Applications

The applications of Hovermap underground are extensive thanks to its versatile deployment options. Hovermap provides you with greater underground insights that have not been possible before.


Inspect a stope from a safe distance while uncovering never seen before detail, including areas previously hidden by shadows. Complete your stope scan in less time than it takes to setup a traditional Cavity Monitoring System.

Draw Points

Scan for hang-ups and collect the data needed to plan for their removal while safely piloting from the extraction drive.

Convergence Monitoring

Detect subtle deformation within walls and backs as a part of safety monitoring. Drive your response plans with qualitative data while gaining insight into residual capacity.

Ore Passes

Stay on top of wear and damage within ore passes and increase safety during maintenance through detailed 3D insights.

Drive Development

Grab a quick scan post-blast or while setting out to capture volumes, over break and under break. Regular scans will also help detect deformation in these areas where personnel are exposed to most rock mass hazards.

Old Workings

Bring mine areas that may have been untouched for over a century right into the 21st century. Digitize entire networks of historical development in as little as a day.

Raise Bores

Safely inspect all areas of your mine for structural integrity and change detection to give leading indicators on ground movements.

Bord and Pillar

Accurate mapping to aid in the creation of a digital twin and improve mining automation opportunities, detect change, gain insights on pillar stability, and track all progress of mine workings.

Elevator shaft inspection

Safely capture the up-to-date condition of elevator shafts by using the magnetic mount to attach Hovermap to the elevator’s roof. Gain greater structural detail without personnel needing to enter unsafe areas.

Above Ground Mining Applications

Accurate measurements and models are made possible without being dependent on GPS. Fly closely and safely with our Virtual Elliptical Shield (VESH) or walk the scanner through plant and other facilities.

Inspection & Mapping of above ground infrastructure

Redefine the concept of as-built and gain detailed insight into your above ground infrastructure. Operations teams can rapidly find and action insights to reduce and avoid production disruptions.


Utilise LiDAR to provide accurate data and 3D mapping of stockpiles, which can be used to provide volume estimates, including of low reflectance materials. Easily reconcile survey data with measurements systems.

Open Cut Mine Mapping

Scan benches and high walls to monitor stability, haulage roads to check gradients and erosion, berms for safety.

Wondering how Hovermap can streamline your mapping workflows?

Mining Customer Case Studies
See how Hovermap has saved time and money and kept people safe in mines around the world

How Barrick’s Kibali and Bulyanhulu gold mines use Hovermap for stope mapping

Emesent partners, Dwyka Mining Services and Unmanned Aerial Services demonstrated how to capture shadowless, uniform, high resolution data for geotechs, mine engineers and geology at Kibali by flying a 150m high stope.
Read more

Monitoring an Intake Vent Shaft to Maintain Safe Operations

In this 30-min webinar Linda Snyman, Senior Operations Geotechnical Engineer, CMOC Northparkes Mines, describes how they conduct annual scans of a 560 m intake vent and conduct change detection analysis to assess the rate of self-mining.
Read more

Improving Convergence Monitoring Using LiDAR Data at the Argyle Diamond Mine

Rio Tinto engaged MineLiDAR to trial Hovermap for convergence monitoring at its Argyle Diamond Mine, in Western Australia. The trial showed LiDAR accuracy is sufficient for displacement monitoring and provides superior areal coverage of target areas.
Read more

Why Our Customers choose hovermap

“The Hovermap has given us the flexibility to deploy the scanner further into the void to help us remove all of the shadows. We’ve got the true void volume.

The Hovermap improves mining efficiency in the way that we’re not holding up the production team as long. We’re just in and out really.

Changing to the Hovermap (from CMS) moves us to the next level of safety by taking us further away from the hazards.”

Senior Surveyor, Mount Isa Mines, Glencore




When mounted to a drone, Hovermap’s Tap-to-Fly autonomy feature enables mapping in previously inaccessible areas beyond line of sight and communication range. The omnidirectional Collision Avoidance, Guided Exploration, and smart Return-to-Home functions ensure your Hovermap keeps a safe distance from assets and returns home safely with the valuable data it has collected.


The tough, weather sealed, IP65 rated unit is dust and water resistant, allowing you to map in severe environments. It can operate in temperatures from -10 to 45°C (14 to 113 °F) as well as high humidity, making it ideal for use in underground mines and other harsh environments.


The plug and play design and quick-release mechanism allow easy switching between modes. Use Hovermap as a handheld scanner; attached to a drone, vehicle, or pole; lowered in a cage; or mounted to a backpack to easily collect data anywhere. The compact, lightweight design makes it easy to carry and provides longer flight time.


Georeferencing in underground mines uses standard prisms and spigots that require specialized mounting adaptors. Emesent has developed mining specific GCP’s and GCP adaptors that meet these specialised requirements. GCP’s are automatically detected during scanning, improving accuracy and eliminating the need for manual georeferencing of the point cloud post processing.


Mining decision-making is improved with autonomous data capture for volumetrics, over/under break, deformation monitoring, and geotechnical stability monitoring.

Hovermap’s versatility provides autonomous mapping in challenging, inaccessible areas, while the rotating LiDAR provides an omnidirectional field of view, ensuring 3D data is collected in all directions for complete, shadowless point clouds.


With a combination of world leading LiDAR mapping and drone autonomy, Hovermap produces reliable, accurate data which integrates seamlessly with existing workflows to enable new analytical insights.


As a single unit, Hovermap tackles all your mining data collection requirements with its versatile deployment options.

Hovermap-Spot Autonomy

Hovermap’s unique versatility means the same unit can be used on Spot or a drone for autonomous mapping.

Spot can be stationed underground and sent missions from the surface to collect data for change detection, convergence monitoring, post-blast evaluation, remote ground support inspections, and more. 

Applications for Hovermap-Spot to replace personnel in hazardous first response situations are also being developed. Remote and autonomous routine mapping with Hovermap-Spot is currently under development.


Use the suction cup or magnetic vehicle mount to quickly and easily attach Hovermap to various vehicles (including steel, aluminum, and plastic). From boggers to transport vehicles, these mounts will allow you to capture data anywhere your vehicles go.


Keep personnel away from brows, stope edges, confined spaces, or heights. Fly a Hovermap-enabled drone beyond line of sight and capture critical data to assess the stability of geological features and improve decision-making in mine safety and design.


Use the suction cup or magnetic vehicle mount to quickly and easily attach Hovermap to various vehicles (including steel, aluminum, and plastic). On Load Haul Dump (LHD), Scooptrams, Boggers, Dozers, Roof Bolters or even elevator roofs, these mounts will enable you to capture data anywhere your vehicles go.

Cable Application

The Hovermap protective cage provides hard wearing protection that is specially designed to slide smoothly, avoid snags and deliver great scans.

In this raisebore shaft with a 5 m diameter and 500 m depth, Hovermap was lowered down with a cable to collect the valuable data.

integrated workflows

To help provide unprecedented insights from previously inaccessible areas, Emesent has partnered with a number of mine software packages to provide an integrated workflow from capture to analysis.


A semi-automated workflow has been created to import Hovermap data into Deswik’s design and solids modeling platform, Deswik.CAD. This workflow enables users to translate the Hovermap data within minutes, creating usable surfaces, solids, and point clouds for as-built surveys, volume reporting, and design updates.


This integration provides an easy workflow between Hovermap data and the Maptek PointModeller software, which is easily able to handle the high levels of data produced by Hovermap.