Applying RFID to Shale, Clay & Gravel Mining

In Canada, the U.S., and across the world, aggregate mining includes materials such as sand, gravel and crushed stone. Aggregate mining materials are used extensively in everyday objects from highway roads, sidewalks, glass manufacturing, building foundations and skyscraper construction.

British Columbia’s aggregate industry produced $320 million worth of sand, gravel and crushed stone in 2012. Aggregate is the main construction material used extensively in commercial, industrial and public works construction. Without the aggregate industry, the construction business would come to a standstill.

Oil shale is organic matter that has been buried for millions of years but has not transformed into petroleum. Dwindling oil reserves has led oil companies to extract oil from shale rock.

Clay minerals are composed of the following: natural, fine grained, silica, alumina material of crystalline hydrous silicate minerals. Clay is a common material formed by the chemical and physical breakdown of rocks.

Gravel mining requires the extraction of sand and gravel to clear the surface of vegetation and topsoil to dig a pit. Mining close to an area that has a large body of water a dredge is placed adjacent to a lake to extract aggregate deposits from the pit. Deposit material is carried by running water to a separator which separates the material according to particle size. An excess of fine sand produced from the dredging process is pumped back into the lake it originated from. Usable aggregate that has been extracted for its deposits is sometimes turned into agricultural land or converted back into a lake for waterfront housing developments.

Exploring RFID in the Shale, Clay & Gravel Mining Industry

Mining organizations is the Shale, Clay, and Gravel Mining industry continuously face challenges each day that weigh down its operations and administration. We have extensive experience in RFID technology and can explore the opportunity to provide a customized solution. We understand how RFID can be applied to certain functions in each industry and can help to:

  • Control Access to Zones Across the Mines
  • Monitor and Locate Personnel in Real-time
  • Tracking Mined Deposits
  • Monitor and Track Deposit Pick-ups and Delivery

Providing Access Control

With so many workers on site and a multitude of zones that are dangerous or restricted for only authorized users, it is important that the areas throughout the mining operation can be controlled. With our experience in RFID, the access to restricted zones may be controlled, using RFID, every personnel, vehicle, and large equipment can be tagged with an RFID Tag, and then given specific access rights. As they move towards certain zones, the RFID Readers outfitted by the zone doorways will only grant access to those who have RFID Tags programmed with the correct level of access. Every time a zone is accessed, the event is recorded in the database for managers and security personnel to review at any time.

Tracking People

Knowing where your mine workers are at any given time is critical to safety and efficiency. With our history in dealing with similar scenarios, we can explore ways to build a Personnel Tracking System, so that every employee can be outfitted with RFID Tags that are installed in their helmets or vests. Each RFID Tag emits a signal as the worker moves through the premises. Due to this, they can quickly be located by the control room in emergency situations. As well, the workers themselves can send distress alerts to the control room by activating their RFID Badge in distress scenarios.

Tracking Assets

There are six primary steps to the aggregate mining process.

  • Rock is blasted at the mine face underground
  • Blasted aggregate is loaded onto euclid’s
  • Aggregate is loaded onto trucks to be transported to primary crusher
  • The crusher breaks down aggregate into small pieces for the conveyor belt
  • Conveyor halls off the aggregate to the surface
  • Aggregate is sorted into piles according to size before next transport

We have RFID experience which we gain when working on developing different RFID products. We can provide a solution so that the grade of shale, clay or gravel mined can be tracked in real-time. Assigning RFID Tags to select piles enables these deposits to be read by workers using Handheld RFID Readers. By applying the Asset Tracking System, all six primary steps in the mining process can be monitored, by using this system, RFID Tags installed at the exits of tunnels provide instant information to mining supervisors regarding the transport of aggregate deposits. Mining supervisors can accurately track the transport of shale, clay or gravel in the back of departing loading trucks. Vehicles that don’t have embedded RFID Tags will not be allowed access to mining sites. In addition, monitoring the logistics of workers, drivers and deposits is achievable usingthe Asset Tracking System. The reduction of bottlenecks at weighbridges means faster turnaround times at checkpoints. In all, security and operations efficiency is heightened with the implementation of these RFID Systems.

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 integratethe 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