GMG Publishes Four Autonomous Mining Skills Migration Case Studies 

The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has published four case studies about skills migration in the transition to autonomous mining. To achieve the desired operating efficiency and productivity benefits of an autonomous operation, companies require new skillsets in the workforceBy providing examples around communication strategy, change management, trainingskills pathways, and lessons learned based on lived experience, these case studies aim to assist the industry in creating a workforce that will enable autonomous mining 

Rio Tinto shared a case study on people strategy for various autonomous systems within their operations, and the importance of keeping employees engaged and informed during upskilling and reskilling transitionsFor them, inclusivity and trusting the ingenuity of their people has resulted in successful innovation.  

Vale shared insight on the steps they took to prepare employees whose roles changed from haulage technician to autonomous controllerThey personalized their change management processes and restructured their organizational structure to complement operational culture.  

An anonymous case study reviews change management strategies adopted by a copper mine whose on-site drill operations were moved to a control centre. It outlines how the company successfully overcame knowledge gaps experienced by many employees whose roles were upskilledwith zero job loss encountered.  

A second anonymous case study highlights a consultancy’s experience helping a North American mining operation whose truck driving operations migrated to autonomous fleetsThis case study discusses how communication and change management initiatives had to be adapted once they realized that autonomous mining would result in job loss for this company 

“The skills migration case studies are important artifacts that provide insight into the impacts of peoples roles when deploying automation technology,” says Graeme Mitchell, GMG Autonomous Mining Working Group Chair. It was great to see the case studies received from both major mining companies and consultants provide industry with a contrast on experiences in deploying technology and how this impacted people and their roles.” 

“The four case studies represent a range of experiences and perspectives that illustrate how different situations call for different approaches in a global and diverse industry,” says GMG Managing Director, Heather Ednie. “Case studies and examples like these are an important supplement to GMG guidelines because they can provide important insight into areas where there is this kind of diversity of experience. 

GMG is also currently working on a second version of the Guideline for the Implementation of Autonomous Systems in Miningwhich devotes a section to workforce, community, and social impact. 

These case studies can be accessed through the GMG website libraryThe collection of skills migration case studies is ongoing. Those interested in submitting a case study on this topic or on other topics covered by GMG are invited to contact 

About GMG 

The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) is a network of like-minded companies driving change in the mining industry. Together, we help develop knowledge, educate, and guide the global mining industry. We monitor the pulse of the industry and develop multi-disciplinary guidelines and strategies to manage risk, enhance performance, design solutions, inform planning and decision making, and save time and money. Our members are mining companies, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), original technology manufacturers (OTMs), research organizations and consultants from around the world who recognize that innovation does not happen in silos. GMG improves communication and facilitates collaboration to foster a more sustainable and efficient future for mining. Our multi-stakeholder working groups address topics such as interoperability, data access and usage, artificial intelligence, autonomous equipment, underground communication, battery-electric equipment and comminution efficiency in mining. For more information contact us here.