Marut Drones Develops India’s First Mineral Exploration Drone


Marut Drones, a startup specializing in drone technology, has announced the delivery of India’s inaugural mineral exploration drones to the government-owned iron ore mining company NMDC Ltd. The startup provided NMDC with two specially tailored Octacopter drones as part of this collaboration.

Marut Drones, one of the pioneering entities in the drone technology domain, stands at the forefront of innovation in unmanned aerial systems. With a commitment to pushing technological boundaries, Marut specializes in designing and manufacturing cutting-edge drones for various applications.

The partnership between Marut Drones and NMDC represents a stride in the realm of mineral exploration, ushering in a new era of advanced technology to augment precision in the processes of mineral exploration and mapping, thereby contributing to the promotion of sustainable mining practices.

Describing this collaboration as a milestone, Marut emphasizes that these drones not only represent a pioneering achievement for the nation but also introduce cutting-edge sensors that are being deployed for the first time in India, specifically tailored for the purpose of mineral exploration.

NMDC, one of the pioneering entities in mineral exploration, has harnessed cutting-edge technology in its exploration endeavors, deploying drones equipped with advanced sensors such as Magnetometer, Hyperspectral, and Lidar. These features augment the drones’ capabilities, ensuring precise mapping and exploration accuracy.

Marut emphasized the innovative coaxial design of the exploration drones. This design not only guarantees stability during flight but also facilitates highly precise maneuverability, a critical element for effective mineral exploration. The CEO of Marut Drones, Prem Kumar Vislawath, highlighted the nature of this endeavor, noting that it marks the first instance in India where a drone has been purpose-built for mineral exploration.

In this initiative, NMDC has initiated drone-based hyperspectral magnetic exploration, a novel approach in the field. The flight parameters, including spacing and altitude, are determined through mission planning, ensuring a 30% overlap in the captured land during the drone’s flight. The acquired data undergoes processing using cutting-edge software tools such as Hyperspec III and ENVI.

Furthermore, drone-based magnetic surveying is integrated into the exploration methodology. The calibration of drones, along with precise decisions regarding spacing and altitude, is established before mission planning. Geometrics Magarrow Magnetometer takes center stage in magnetic data acquisition, and subsequent data processing is handled by NMDC using Geometrics and Geosoft Oasis Montage software.

Prem Kumar Vislawath expressed his enthusiasm about this achievement, emphasizing that every element of the Octaquad Coaxial X8 drone, from motors to propeller systems, has been manufactured in India. He believes this technology represents an advancement in the mining and exploration space.

The introduction of drone-based mineral exploration is poised to revolutionize traditional exploration approaches, particularly in the prospecting for critical minerals such as lithium, copper, gold, diamond, rare earth elements, and other essential minerals. The efforts between NMDC and Marut Drones underscore a commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation in the pursuit of unlocking the potential of India’s mineral wealth.


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