Tag Archives: GMG

GMG publishes new short interval control guideline

The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) says it has published the Guideline for Implementing Short Interval Control (SIC) in Underground Mining Operations.

SIC is a structured system in which data from mining processes are periodically reviewed and action is taken in response to them, GMG explained. “This guideline provides a roadmap to increase the speed and likelihood of success during SIC implementation while avoiding common pitfalls.”

Specifically, the publication presents a conceptual model of what SIC could look like that includes an operational framework, detailed workflows, and an outline of data enablement at various levels of maturity, according to GMG.

SIC has only recently begun to be used in underground mining, although it has a long history in the manufacturing industry.

GMG said: “One challenge in implementing SIC is tailoring it to the operation at hand because underground mining conditions can be unpredictable, but the guideline offers mining stakeholders a base of knowledge of how it can be applied.”

Greg Sandblom, Operation and Business Technology Lead at Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, a Glencore Company, says the guideline “can provide a valuable reference to mining companies during all phases of SIC deployments at existing mines or new mine projects”.

He continued: “It can effectively act as a checkpoint to validate that lessons learned and experience from leaders across the mining industry are applied to their implementations.”

Lisa Önnerlov, Development Engineer – Industrial Design at Boliden, said there was potential for the application of the guideline for those already using a SIC system.

“Even though we have been working with SIC for many years, we still have a lot to improve,” she said. “We face challenges like refining the overall coordination and to take advantage of new technological possibilities and make it useful in reality. We hope that this guideline will be a tool for both benchmarking and as a common reference in collaboration with other mining companies working with SIC.”

SIC has the potential to increase productivity and lower costs, according to GMG. As the practice becomes more common, it will, in turn, become increasingly accessible, according to Gordon Fellows, President of Fellows Mining and Digital Solutions.

“Achieving the greatest benefit from SIC comes from monitoring and controlling the shortest interval, but results are possible even at lower levels of maturity and at lower cost,” he said. “As technology evolves, it will make it simpler and less expensive to reach higher levels of maturity.”

One highlight of the process of developing the guideline, according to Liv Carroll, Senior Principal, Mining Transformation and Applied Intelligence at Accenture, has been the input from and cooperation between various stakeholders in the mining industry.

Carroll said there had been “effective collaboration between operators, service providers, consultants and technology specialists alongside the GMG team; our industry working as one for the benefit of all”.

She added: “In working together, we have drawn on a breadth of global and diverse experience to amalgamate leading practices into the guideline considering all levels of maturity and allowing for future evolution.”

Looking ahead, implementing SIC offers great potential for positive change in the industry because it facilitates better planning, quicker decisions, increased production, lower costs and creates a safer working environment, according to GMG.

GMG Chair, Michelle Ash, says: “I am very excited to see the publication of the SIC guideline because it is not only the culmination of a lot of work from many people, but also a fundamental building block for the transformation of our industry. I am looking forward to visiting mines post implementation and seeing the case studies that arise from their efforts.”

GMG strengthens mining innovation ties with SME partnership

Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) have announced a strategic partnership to “drive increased openness in the mining industry”, GMG says.

“The SME-GMG partnership will enable SME members to maintain a leadership position in the global mining community,” GMG said, adding that it has similar agreements with other mining organisations as a key strategy to building and strengthening the global mining innovation network.

GMG Executive Director, Heather Ednie, said: “The future of mining requires greater collaboration, increased openness and sharing across the industry, and a willingness to embrace new technologies and practices – that is the premise of GMG. And, we need leadership level participation from the US mining community to be successful – and SME represents that community.”

As part of this collaboration, SME will become the official partner on all GMG events held in the US as of 2020.

SME Executive Director, David L Kanagy, said: “The United States is one of the leading mining nations in the world, home to many large mining companies as well as key mining suppliers, both traditional and non-traditional.

“This partnership will enable SME members to participate in global innovation collaboration and ensure that the US has input into international guidelines development.”

GMG members devise mine automation guideline

The likes of Anglo American, BHP, Barrick Gold, Glencore, Newmont, Rio Tinto, Teck and Vale have collaborated on the Global Mining Guidelines Group’s (GMG) latest guideline on automation.

The Guideline for the Implementation of Autonomous Systems in Mining offers a broad view of the implementation of these systems, which are being used more and more frequently due to their potential for making the mining industry safer and more productive, according to GMG.

Christine Erikson, General Manager Improvement and Smart Business at Roy Hill, said the guideline “covers all aspects of operations, including people, safety, technology, engineering, regulatory requirements, business process and organisation models”. She added: “The guideline considers all perspectives in the industry, making it relevant and practical in implementation.”

The guideline provides a framework for mining stakeholders to follow when establishing autonomous mining projects ranging from single autonomous vehicles and hybrid fleets to highly autonomous fleets, GMG said. It offers guidance on how stakeholders should approach autonomous mining and describes common practices.

“More specifically, the publication addresses change management, developing a business case, health and safety and risk management, regulatory engagement, community and social impact, and operational readiness and deployment,” GMG said.

“There has been an incredible level of engagement in this project since its launch last year,” said Andrew Scott, Principal Innovator, Symbiotic Innovations, and GMG Vice-Chair Working Groups, who facilitated many of the workshops. “The industry interest reflects the growing importance and relevance of autonomous systems in mining and the industry’s need for a unified framework for mitigating risks and managing change while maximising the value of autonomy.”

Chirag Sathe, Principal, Risk & Business Analysis Technology at BHP – one of the project co-leaders alongside Glenn Johnson, Senior Mining Engineer, Technology at Teck – said the guideline is relevant even to those who have already embraced autonomy: “I would say that even though some mining companies have implemented autonomy, it hasn’t been a smooth ride and there are a number of lessons learned. This guideline would be a good reference material to everyone to look at various aspects while implementing autonomy. It is not meant to provide answers to every potential issue, but it at least may provide some guidance on what to look for.”

Erikson concurred, saying, “Roy Hill’s involvement has given greater insight into industry learnings that we have considered as part of our own autonomous projects.”

The guideline also promotes cooperation between the involved parties as a means of easing the implementation process, according to GMG. Andy Mulholland, GEOVIA Management Director at Dassault Systèmes, said: “Mining companies will need to rely heavily on their technology partners.” This guideline “sets down a great framework to be able to collaborate”, he added.

Sathe said: “As technology is moving very fast, guideline development also should keep pace with the change.”

As a result, the guideline will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, according to GMG.

GMG said: “Although implementing autonomous systems creates new challenges, such as changes to the workforce and the workplace, their successful deployment adds definite value, with improved safety and efficiency and lower maintenance costs. As more operations move toward the application of these technologies, this guideline will be an invaluable asset.

Mark O’Brien, Manager, Digital Transformation at CITIC Pacific Mining, said the process of developing the guideline highlighted “just how much there is to factor into deciding whether to implement autonomy, whether you’re ready for it and what the journey is going to look like.

“Having this all captured in a single, well-considered document is a terrific resource.”

GMG completes the underground communications infrastructure trilogy

The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has published the third part of its Underground Mine Communications Infrastructure guideline suite, which, it says, provides an overview of the planning and design recommendations for underground communications development.

Called Underground Mine Communications Infrastructure Guidelines, Part III: General Guidelines, the document also includes some best practices used within mining environments and where to find more information on digital communications, standards, and frameworks, GMG said.

Andrew Scott, Principal Innovator, Symbiotic Innovations and GMG Vice-Chair Working Groups, described this document as “a key general reference for any company looking to implement communications infrastructure at any of their operations or new projects”.

This guideline suite was developed in response to the rapid development of industrial and communications technology in recent years, according to GMG. “It provides a high-level view of the processes needed by mine personnel to meet planning and design requirements when creating or replacing underground mine communications infrastructure,” GMG said. “It steps the user through the general tasks and components to define the technical requirements for an underground communications infrastructure that sup­ports mine services now and into the future.”

GMG Chair, Michelle Ash, said: “These technologies are now at the heart of mining safety and productivity and are becoming essential for running safe, productive and efficient underground mining operations. Anything we can do to speed up the rate of adoption in our members’ operations will make a positive impact on the industry.”

These general guidelines form the core content of the guideline suite, according to GMG. Part I: Positioning and Needs Analysis provides a general overview of the guideline objectives and audience and presents a mine communications maturity lifecycle diagram. Part II: Scenarios and Applications outlines scenarios of practical applications in underground mining today and in the near future. Both were published in 2017.

This third part, Scott explained, can be used more directly: “[It] provides a sound foundation for selecting the appropriate communications infrastructure, assisting with the decision-making process.”

This project has been ongoing since the Underground Mining Working Group formed in 2015. “The underground communications project group has been a very active and motivated group of mine operators and technology suppliers,” Scott said.

Eric L’Heureux, President, Solutions Ambra Inc, said, from a technology provider’s perspective, “This guideline is very important as it allows the mining industry to stay on the leading edge of the technology. The mining companies can get relevant information allowing them to upgrade their networks and meet requirements required by new applications such as remote operation, ventilation on demand and tracking.”

Cailli Knievel, Chief Engineer, Newmont Leeville Operations, said what she learned while working on this guideline was “extremely relevant as Newmont moves toward increased automation”.

It is great “to get an outside perspective on items that have the potential to disrupt the industry in the future”, she added.

Teck’s Kalev Ruberg to become GMG Vice Chair

Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has welcomed Teck Resources’ Vice President of Digital Systems and Chief Information Officer (CIO), Kalev Ruberg, as its new Vice Chair.

He brings extensive experience in information technology and business leadership to the GMG Executive Council, GMG said. He has held the position of CIO with Teck since 2006 and has a strong background in information systems and technology and applied artificial intelligence. Ruberg was appointed Vice President, Digital Systems, in 2017.

Ruberg, who holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will sit on the Executive Council and help shape GMG strategy, the organisation said. As part of his Vice Chair role, he will be on track to become Chair in 2020.

“Teck is a GMG leadership member, and this new partnership reinforces a shared vision for a sustainable future of mining and a shared commitment to bringing industry leaders together to achieve it,” GMG said.

Michelle Ash, GMG Chair, said: “It is wonderful to have Kal join the executive as Vice Chair. In his role with Teck, he has shown his tremendous ability for leadership, strategy and collaboration, all of which he will bring to the role with GMG.”

Ruberg will officially join the GMG Executive Council at the Annual General Meeting on April 30 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Teck’s Babaei joins GMG Artificial Intelligence Working Group

The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has announced that its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Working Group, launched last November, now has two leaders.

Mohammad Babaei (pictured speaking on the left), Digital Mining Innovation Lead in Digital Operations at Teck, has come on board as a co-leader, joining joins Mark O’Brien, Manager, Digital Transformation at CITIC Pacific Mining, who has been leading the group so far.

GMG said: “The AI Working Group has already seen an incredible level of engagement. With this new team, Babaei in Canada and O’Brien in Australia, the group has leadership in both hemispheres.”

Early on, O’Brien said, the group knew it needed good global representation to reflect both how globally relevant AI is and how rapidly the field is changing. “Part of that meant trying to build good coverage with our leadership to make sure we could keep up and share the load,” he said.

Babaei has worked in a variety of contexts including open-pit mines, consultancies and universities. In his current role at Teck, he guides and supports digital innovations that improve safety, sustainability and productivity, according to GMG. “For example, he led projects applying machine learning in mining and maintenance and developing a unique real-time diggability solution.”

Babaei said: “AI can bring revolution in many streams of mining like mineral exploration, haulage, planning and logistics, safety and maintenance.

“I hope we will be able to promote better understanding of AI within the industry and open doors for collaboration between operators, subject matter experts, academia and other innovators.”

O’Brien said this partnership, and the working group’s collaborative approach, reflects the broader importance of collaboration and openness across the industry.

He said: “When you take a close look at the most exciting things happening in the realm of AI over the past few years, one thing that becomes quickly apparent is the most impactful advances are coming out of collaboration.

“Two leaders will, I hope, be far better than one.”

The AI Working Group has recently launched its first project. “This Foundation for AI in Mining project will provide a unified understanding of the basics of AI in mining that cuts through the hype and clarifies what methods are useful, and for what circumstances they can be applied,” GMG said.