RFID Systems for Diamond Mining

Diamonds are one of Africa’s major natural resources. Approximately US$13 Billion worth of rough diamonds are produced per year, US$8.5 Billion or 65 percent of all diamonds originate from Africa. The diamond industry is currently worth US$72 Billion per year.

Diamonds are most commonly associated with jewellery. Cut, Clarity, Carat and Colour are key factors that go into determining the price of these rare rocks. An estimated 30 percent of diamonds are distributed for cutting, polishing and jewelry manufacturing. The remaining 70 percent of diamonds are sold for industrial applications such as drilling, grinding and polishing.

There is a 6 pronged process for the distribution of diamonds to the retailer.

  1. Exploration
  2. Mining
  3. Sorting
  4. Cutting & polishing
  5. Jewelry manufacturing
  6. Retailing

GAO RFID Systems for the Diamond Mining industry are wide and varied, and help to:

  • Track mining equipment
  • Track raw ore deposits
  • Control Access for Mining Personnel and Vehicles
  • Secure Inventory

    GAO RFID Systems for Diamond Mining

    Diamonds are extracted from the earth through a wide variety of methods such as the following:

    • Underground mining
    • Open pit mining
    • Marine mining
    • Vertical mining
    • Alluvial mining

    For every method, GAO RFID’s Systems help Diamond Mining organizations improve operation efficiencies through the following methods:

    Sorting Diamonds

    Extracted diamond ore goes through a crushing and processing stage before being sorted and classified. After the unrefined diamonds are dropped of at processing the sorting experts determine the value and assign different categories in preparation for selling to different buying parties. RFID Tagging is an efficient method to distinguish diamonds based on size, shape, quality and colour.

    During the classification process RFID Tags can be installed within individual bins for further sorting. The highest quality diamonds are determined by the colour and clarity for the gem market. Electronic tagging of gem quality diamonds ensures the authenticity of the Kimberley Process Certification (conflict free zones).

    Diamond Mining Equipment Tracking

    Depending on the mine in question, equipment used for extraction can be bought or rented. Diamond mining equipment covers some of the following:

    • Missile dredge (marine mining)
    • Export Cargo Skiff (transportation for vehicles over rivers)
    • Komatsu shovels
    • Alluvial processing equipment
    • Diamond jigs
    • Jig separator 

      All mining equipment can be tagged with RFID Tags making asset locating clear and maintenance schedules for machinery in warranty easily accessible. Mining operators can easily track the location of these expensive assets to reduce theft and never have to worry about a piece of equipment breaking down that will compromise the extraction of diamonds from a particular mine.

      Tracking Pick-ups and Drop-offs

      Tracking the transport trucks that come into and out of a mine carry expensive mined diamonds is easily accomplished with RFID Tags. Installing RFID Tags on every mining truck accompanied by long range active RFID Readers at strategic points enhances the logistical operations of a diamond mine.

      Raw ore that is dug up and placed in mining trucks can be traced with RFID Tags placed in piles to be processed. Keeping track of ore deposits that may have to be moved multiple times within the grounds of a mining site is the best solution for tracking inventory and is one extra layer of theft prevent that helps protect the organization’s bottom line.

      Controlling Access to Mine Zones

      Mining supervisors can now accurately monitor the location of mine personnel working underground using the Access Control System. Deploying Wi-Fi capabilities throughout a mine enables communication between the RFID Tag in a worker’s vest or helmet. In addition, RFID Vehicle Tags can be affixed to the fleet of mining vehicles, automating the vehicle’s ability to enter certain zones throughout the mine. Collecting data regarding the movement of mine workers and vehicles using a long range RFID reader is manageable from the central office using our web-enabled software.

      Integrating our System with your Mining Management Software

      GAO RFID’s Systems can be deployed as a standalone solution or can be integrated with other software solutions, according to your needs.

      At the core of our solution is GAO RFID’s AUTO-ID Engine which incorporates middleware and essential RFID functions that perform RFID data collection and information processing. Our AUTO-ID Engine seamlessly integrates with a wide variety of mining management systems so that you can access the data it collects directly via the system or systems you currently have in place.

      Our team of seasoned professionals will smoothly integrate the appropriate GAO RFID Solution with your IT architecture. The result is an RFID solution that is seamlessly unified with your mining management system.

      Contact us for more information on how our RFID Systems can be configured for your organization.