GMG (formerly Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG)) evolved from efforts by the Surface Mining Association for Research and Technology (SMART) members and is a committee under the CIM Surface Mining Society. However, the GMG mandate extends beyond surface mining and covers underground, as well as many aspects of the mining process. The launch of GMG was the result of 12 years of efforts by mining operators.
In 2000, as some operators recognized that they faced the same challenges, an informal effort began. By 2005, the effort was formally organized under SMART with a charter and a plan for the OEMs and OTMs. Over the following seven years, SMART members engaged the OEMs and OTMs, developed baseline standards and documentation, and increased industry-wide communications and engagement. In 2010, a SMART industry summit was held in Vancouver during the annual convention of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), bringing together SMART members with the OEMs and OTMs. SMART faced a number of limitations that necessitated the evolution to a new organization to move forward. These limitations include:
- SMART was a voluntary organization of surface mine operators;
- Success relied on a group of volunteer mine operators, so its efforts and progress were inconsistent;
- The initiative required dedicated time, effort, resources, and process beyond the volunteer base capacity;
- SMART members did not include OEMs, OTMs, vendors or suppliers, thus representing only part of the industry;
- SMART had no structure for funding, resourcing, or process; and
- OEMs and OTMs questioned the credibility and commitment of the mine operators
It became apparent that a more official structure was required, to lend substance, organization, and commitment to the issues and have a greater impact in driving forward new standards for mining technology.
The result was the creation of the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG) under the CIM Surface Mining Society, which was officially launched in May 2012. The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) became a partner organization in 2012. Both SME and CIM committed to three year’s seed funding for GMSG and had a representative on the GMSG Council. The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) and the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) joined as partner organizations providing two year’s seed funding and with seats of the GMSG Council in 2013. Although part of the CIM Surface Mining Society, it became clear that there was demand for such an organization to serve both surface and underground mining communities. The organization was founded with a charter and plan for collaboration between mine operators, OEMs and OTMs. In May 2018 the organization’s name changed to the Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) to better reflect its purpose.
GMG’s membership has grown steadily from 2012 and now comprises 108 companies (as of December 31st 2020) and includes, mining companies, OEMs, OTMs, third party suppliers, consultants, research institutes and academia.