Investment agreement helps Sudbury drone company access new markets: Unmanned Aerial Services Inc. will become a subsidiary of Japan's Terra Drone Corp.

AuthorRomaniuk, Colleen

What started out as "a couple snowflakes" recently turned into an avalanche for a Sudbury-based drone company that recently struck a deal that will assist their global expansion.

Unmanned Aerial Services Incorporated (UAS), an inspection service provider for indoor industrial confined spaces and underground mine locations, signed an investment agreement with Japan's Terra Drone Corporation that gave Terra Drone a "significant stake" in the company.

As part of the agreement, Terra Drone, a world leader in industrial drone solutions, will form a new subsidiary in Sudbury called Terra Drone Mining.

Their goal is to provide unmanned mapping and inspection services to underground mines around the world.

The new investment will give UAS the ability to penetrate other markets, expanding beyond North America to areas like South/Central America, South Africa, Central Asia, Russia, and Australia.

UAS recently opened an office in Val D'Or, Quebec and plans to open their next office in Montana in January 2020. In the future, they are also aiming to set up shop in Johannesburg, South Africa and Santiago, Chile.

They currently employ 12 people and would ultimately aim to create six to eight positions in each new office.

"Essentially, we want to do the same thing as we're doing in Sudbury, but offer that on a much wider scale to many more mine operations globally," said Matt Mackinnon, CEO of UAS.

UAS will also help fast track Terra Drone's market presence in the mining industry, and bring them up to speed on the capabilities and limitations of using drones in underground mines.

Established in 2017, UAS is about to celebrate its three-year anniversary. Since the beginning, their focus and attention was on building trust and relationships in the mining industry.

Among their clients are some of the world's leading mining companies including Vale, Glencore, Newmont, and Barrick Gold.

While at first they weren't sure about the agreement with Terra Drone, UAS decided to seize the opportunity.

"We were kicking butt, doing our thing," said Mackinnon.

"This will allow us to scale up into other major mining centres."

The company...

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