Mining companies (in Canada and abroad) are incorporating the use of drones into daily operations to perform tasks that are inefficient, impractical, or unsafe for human operators. Common tasks for drones include monitoring environmental and weather conditions, conducting geophysical surveys, identifying hazardous situations and warning against intruders on-site.
The legal considerations for Canadian production and exploration mining companies operating in Canada and abroad are numerous. Not only are companies required to adhere to the regulatory requirements to operate within a given jurisdiction (provided that the foreign jurisdiction allows for the use of drones), careful consideration should be paid to export and import controls when taking drones across international borders. Customs authorities (such as the Canadian Border Services Agency) may need to be notified when a drone is crossing a Canadian border, and foreign jurisdictions may require the drone operator to obtain license(s) or permits before arriving at a port of entry with a drone.
We recently authored an article for the “Legal Report” section of Canadian Mining Magazine (Spring 2018), where we discuss the applications available to production and exploration companies, international considerations and export and import controls. Check it out here!