Drone Flights Over Bagdad Mining Operations Prohibited

We have recently had reports of at least two different types of drones flying over active portions of the operation.  We are taking this opportunity to remind our employees and members of the public of the following:

  • Sending drone flights over the operating mine without authorization is not appropriate, as it presents a safety hazard to our operations
  • These activities can create several hazards, one of the most critical being the distraction of operators and ground personnel around active equipment
  • ONLY Company/FAA approved drone use, with FAA approved flight plans, are allowed within the MSHA regulated areas of our operations.

Freeport has an FAA authorization to use drones for certain projects. We also have some vendors that may also use them with our permission (for example to survey hard to reach slopes for geotechnical surveys and to support engineering projects). We have had long standing rules that prohibit low altitude aircraft flights without prior clearance by the mine operations over our mines for decades, and believe this is a similar safety issue.

If you witness someone piloting a drone over active mining areas, please contact the Security Gate (928-633- 3211) immediately with a location and description.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

Marcus Middleton
Manager – Health and Safety
Freeport McMoRan Bagdad, Inc.