Applying RFID to the Metal Ore Mining Industry

Metal ore mining is necessary to extract iron or other metals from rocks. The compound that comes from rock is referred to as metal ore. Across Canada and the U.S., mining organizations know that for metal mining to be successful there has to be a high enough concentration to make it economical to extract the metal.

Metal ore is used to create stainless steel, titanium steel, manganese steel and other metals.

There are several steps to the mining process of metal ore such as:

  1. Mining Operations: Drilling and blasting of metal ore
  2. Concentrate Production: Crushing ore
  3. Pelletizing: Metal pellets goes to the pellet plant
  4. Railway Transportation: Stockpiles of pellets and concentrate are loaded onto trains for transport.
  5. Stockpiling and Vessel Loading: Pellets and concentrate are stacked into stockpiles to be transported around the world.

Steel is derived from iron ore which is used to create everything from kitchen sinks, cutting tools, automobiles and planes. Mining in real-time is aided with the implementation of RFID technology. Placing tags in piles of iron ore is the best way to classify distinct rock deposits. RFID technology can also track ore deposits from the point of extraction to the chutes and conveyor system taking them to the crusher to be reduced into smaller sizes. The tracking of the metal ore can be continued as they travel on rail cars and transported to processing facilities.

Exploring RFID in the Metal Ore Mining Industry

RFID offers many solutions that can be useful in the Metal Ore Mining industry. Every solution helps organizations improve operational efficiency. With our extensive experience and determination, we can provide various custom solutions that can be applied to certain functions in each industry. We can help the Metal Ore Mining industry to:

  • Track Assets and Equipment
  • Monitor and Track Ore Deposits
  • Monitor and Track Pelletized Inventory
  • Track and Control Personnel and Vehicle Access

 Applying Asset Tracking

Throughout the site, Metal Ore Mining organizations own a long list of assets and equipment that need to be monitored for theft deterrence and maintenance. We, at GAO RFID, realize your challenges and with our history of deploying RFID systems we can explore ways to build a solution in which you can easily track the location of these assets or be notified when they are removed for the premises. In addition, the RFID Tags record maintenance history so that every service done to them are stored on their chip. Based on the recommended maintenance frequency, the system will alert you to remind you that the specific asset is due for its scheduled maintenance. This means you not miss a scheduled maintenance, ensuring 100% uptime at your mine, the system can also be used for tracking piles of ore that are deposited outside a mine’s entrance for crushing. The ore can be marked with RFID Tags, and their location can be tracked as they are moved several times before it is scooped up for transport by trucks which forward the material into loading pockets or a pit crusher.

Pelletizing is taking a raw material to be melted by a blast furnace. Iron (FE) ore deposits are approximately 0.24-0.63 inches to be used in a blast furnace. Pelletizing combines the addition of other additives to form raw pellets into spheres. Balls of iron are fired in a kiln to sinter the particles into a hardened form. Iron ore pellets restrict airflow thus resulting in a superior product fit for a kiln.

Crushed ore conveyed from the primary crusher or In Pit Crusher to the concentrator for pelletizing. The processing of iron ore entails converting the deposits into pellets using a furnace to create iron ore pellets. The pellet stacks can all be tracked with RFID Tags via RFID before being transferred to the loading area to be placed into stockpiles.

Transport trucks that deliver scooped ore deposits to the pit crusher can be fitted with RFID Vehicle Tags. Mining trucks with RFID Tags eliminates bottlenecking at drop off points for concentrate production. Facilitating the smooth flow of all transport trucks equals more efficiency of mining operations.

Applying People Tracking

Work health and safety would benefit greatly from mining personnel having RFID Tags attached to vests and helmets. Rugged RFID Tags are specifically designed to perform faultlessly in harsh environments such as mines. With our history in dealing with such scenarios we can explore ways to track personnel with RFID technology, the RFID application can be used to locate personnel anywhere in the mine, in real-time.

Tagging workers is an effective way of tracking mining personnel in the event of an emergency. Alerts can also tell staff if harmful gas levels are present in mining zones.

Applying Access Control

Preventing access to restricted or dangerous areas on your mining site can also be accomplished with the aid of RFID technology. RFID can be integrated into a mining offices I.T. infrastructure to facilitate the health and safety of all workers. Different zones within a mine can have RFID tags employed throughout that can be monitored by supervisors. Monitoring when staff enters and exits a mine allows the tracking of time sheets.

Integrating with your 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.

GAO RFID’s AUTO-ID Engine, incorporates middleware and essential RFID functions that perform RFID data collection and information processing. It can 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 comprises of seasoned professionals who have the capability to combine our RFID experience with your industry experience and provide a customized solution that will smoothly integrate the appropriate RFID Solution with your IT architecture. The result is an RFID solution that is seamlessly unified with your mining management system.

We can work with you to integrate the RFID tracking data collected from our custom solution with today’s leading information management systems in your industry.

List of Relevant Information Management Systems

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