Whiteman, DS 2010, 'The Smart Marker System — a new tool for measuring underground orebody flow in block and sublevel mines', in Y Potvin (ed.), Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 603-621, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1002_42_Whiteman
In the past, measurement of ore flow in block and sublevel caves has been performed with passive ‘markers’ (often made from steel pipes) embedded into the orebody. Extracting passive markers along with the ore is labour intensive and often requires many years of commitment. The Smart Marker system uses hardened Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to automate the marker detection process, allowing the measurement and analysis of underground ore movement to be carried out without affecting production draw rates.
This paper presents the results from block and sublevel cave testing of the Smart Marker system from late 2008 and throughout 2009. Block cave testing was carried out at Rio Tinto’s Northparkes E26, and sublevel cave testing was done at Newcrest’s Telfer Mine. The test results demonstrated the successful use of the automated system in the underground production environment and provided high resolution, real-time extraction data suitable for the analysis of underground orebody movement.
This paper also addresses the use of real-time marker data in the analysis of back-break, ore flow rates, dilution entry and rill detection.
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