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Most businesses wouldn’t last very long if their owners left them running on remote control, yet Christopher Clark has turned Rocketmine into a veritable gold mine by doing exactly that. Rocketmine is South Africa's first licenced commercial remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) or drone operator. This is not surprising, he says, as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations are exceptionally stringent and thus difficult to obtain. “Rocketmine operates in the mining industry, where we believe that obtaining high quality survey data, such as measuring stockpile volumes, should be quick, simple and cost-effective. We provide trained and qualified pilots, coupled with fit-for-purpose drones, which are able to capture and process large photo and data sets within a couple of hours. This allows customers to make fast and informed business decisions, based on accurate photos. It also takes both the technology and legal headache away from the customer,” says Christopher. He adds that he is particularly excited by the potential Rocketmine has, as we are currently only scraping the tip of the iceberg with drone technology. Looking at the new applications coming out of Europe and the US, he believes that he is building a sustainable business model - one which helps customers cut costs and/or improve productivity. With plummeting commodity prices, he suggests, the mining sector is definitely looking for solutions that will save them time and money. Rocketmine achieves both of these goals. “There is clearly plenty of potential for drones, and I would like to explore the prospect of integrating drones into municipalities, and also for security applications. My ultimate goal is for the company to become South Africa’s premier enterprise commercial drone operator within the next two years, and the same for continental Africa within four years.”

On-air Interview