The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source information about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors.
twitter1 facebook1 linkedin logo

gmsg 2018How can the mining industry meet the challenges of interoperability? GMSG is building a path forward.

Monday, April 9, 2018. Interoperability is a large, intricate, and complex issue that can inhibit technological advances in the international mining industry. Players hold widely different views and interpretations as to scope, content, application, and end state.

Indeed, GMSG has identified interoperability as a priority industry initiative. So they’ve stepped up with a unique approach to the problem—a universal roadmap. It’s important for the industry.

Interoperability overlaps and impacts other industry subject matter and developments such as data, integrated operations, and autonomous mining. The pressing need for a common enabling approach has spawned a number of interoperability development initiatives by international industry stakeholder groups—but substantial coordinated development and progress in advancing interoperability on the international stage has yet to materialize. The GMSG roadmap is to provide guidance “through the maze”.

To build the roadmap, GMSG launched its Interoperability Definitions and Roadmap Project. The project provides common interoperability definitions, principles, terms, scope, and references needed by, and to guide, further interoperability working group initiatives and developments. The result is generating input for the much-needed international roadmap: a landscape of interoperability initiatives, projects, organization, and resourcing which are aligned, collaborative, and supportive with interoperability developments of other organizations.

The interoperability project is basic but broad. It doesn’t get into details, specific technologies, or solutions; it’s described as a “mile wide, inch deep” logical perspective. It applies the principle of consensus based upon “close enough, not perfection”. The roadmap will consist of pragmatic, achievable, and incremental evolutionary steps that will enable change in the industry from its current state to the end state.

The project is organized globally, with a working group leader (WGL) in each of four regions: North America, South America, Australia/Asia, and Europe/Africa. A project steering committee of 24 members drawn from a cross-section of stakeholders from the regions provides guidance; the four WGLs are members. Within each region, the project participants are organized generally into three teams to address logical groupings of deliverables. Two of the teams operate in parallel working on items like definitions, principles, organizations; their results providing input for the final roadmap drawn up by the third team.

GMSG has been addressing and organizing this interoperability initiative and working group for the past two and a half years. They’ve held several workshops on autonomous mining and interoperability and made significant progress. The workshops have featured fruitful discussions and strong support; and often produced plans for future work. However, plans for development work on the roadmap still need further input, jeopardizing the originally-targeted completion date of end June 2018. Time has become of the essence.

To ensure the interoperability guideline and roadmap is a timely success in the face of rapidly advancing technology, further active leadership and strong participation by mine operators is needed to determine and drive industry advancements. In addition, more significant contribution by OEMs is required—as deliverers of the technology. Broadest stakeholder input will clearly make the roadmap fully comprehensive so as to maximize its usefulness to the entire industry. It behooves any company that sees the need for smooth interoperability in mining to shape priorities and benefit by being an integral part of the industry roadmap’s creation.

Interested parties are invited to contact Heather Ednie at

About Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group

Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG) connects stakeholders from all parts of the industry to improve communication, facilitate collaboration and foster a more sustainable and efficient future of mining. GMSG engages stakeholders to develop guidelines that drive innovation, sustainability, safety and productivity, helping to transform the industry globally.

For more information, visit

SAIMM Advert button072017inner

SAIMM on twitter

Other mining news

Mining Weekly | Africa

The latest mining world news and project information from Africa.
  • Gold fades as world gets used to bad news, Perth Mint says
    Investors have grown immune to the economic and geopolitical risks that typically drive haven demand for gold. That’s how Richard Hayes, the chief executive officer of Australia’s Perth Mint, summed up the reason behind bullion’s slump to a 19-month low despite tensions between the US and China and the collapse of the Turkish lira that roiled markets. The World Gold Council said this month that demand for the metal in the first half of the year was the weakest in almost a decade.
  • BlueRock secures loan from chairperson, CEO
    Aim-listed BlueRock Diamonds, which owns and operates the Kareevlei mine, in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has entered into a loan with chairperson Paul Beck and CEO Adam Waugh.  
  • Semafo reports two more deaths in restive Burkina Faso
    TSX-listed West Africa-focused gold exploration and production company Semafo on Friday reported that a bus transporting employees from the town of Bobo-Dioulasso to the Mana mine, in Burkina Faso, had been shot at by armed bandits on Friday morning. One Semafo national employee and one subcontractor lost their lives in the exchange of fire between police officers and the bandits.