Over the past decade, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used in the mining industry for various applications from mineral exploration to mine reclamation. This study aims to review academic papers on the applications of UAVs in mining by classifying the mining process into three phases: exploration, exploitation, and reclamation. Systematic reviews were performed to summarize the results of 65 articles (June 2010 to May 2020) and outline the research trend for applying UAVs in mining. This study found that UAVs are used at mining sites for geological and structural analysis via remote sensing, aerial geophysical survey, topographic surveying, rock slope analysis, working environment analysis, underground surveying, and monitoring of soil, water, ecological restoration, and ground subsidence. This study contributes to the classification of current UAV applications during the mining process as well as the identification of prevalent UAV types, data acquired by sensors, scales of targeted areas, and styles of flying control for the applications of UAVs in mining.
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