Implementation of Autonomous Systems – Version 2

Published: January 10,2024

About the project

This guideline discusses the important factors related to implementing autonomous systems in mining using current industry practices and common terms of reference. It provides guidance and considerations on justifying, planning, developing, testing, implementing, and deploying autonomous systems. It offers high-level guidance which recognizes that different levels of autonomous system maturity exist across mining operations and that requirements are varied depending on the type of operation. It aims to be broad enough so that it can apply to a variety of situations and remain useful even as technologies advance.

This is a revision of the Guideline for the Implementation of Autonomous Systems in Mining, which was first published in 2019. It will include updates, improvements, and new content based on how technologies have changed and have been applied. 

This project is led by the Autonomous Mining Working Group.


  • Provide high-level guidance, considerations, and questions to ask throughout various stages of the implementation journey.
  • Identify the benefits and risks of autonomous mining to enable informed decision-making.
  • Assist with communications between key stakeholders.

Key topics

  • Change management considerations
  • Guidance on building the business case
  • High-level health and safety and risk management considerations
  • Guidance on regulatory engagement
  • Workforce, community, and social impact considerations
  • Operational readiness and deployment considerations (e.g., mine planning and design, IT and communications infrastructure, engineering design management, and deployment and commissioning)

Key updates

Key updates identified for this version include:

  • Making sure there is accurate consideration given to underground mining
  • More consideration given to different types of autonomous equipment
  • A new subsection on full lifecycle cost considerations for the business case
  • A new subsection on cybersecurity
  • A new subsection on performance and metrics
  • Expansions to existing content on executing and deploying autonomous systems

Get involved

This guideline revision is in the content generation stage, and there are collaboration opportunities in writing, reviewing, and revising. We are looking for:

  • participants to contribute expertise and knowledge as subject matter experts
  • members to join the steering committee to lead the project

Contact us here and we will be in touch with more details!

Project needs

  • A review of all existing sections to see if anything is missing and to address outlying comments.
  • More consideration given to underground mining throughout the guideline.
  • Section 5: Health and Safety needs guidance on its structure and whether or not it should be reduced because of other GMG safety-related projects.
  • Section 8: Operational Readiness needs more work/additional content to finalize the section, especially in the technology subsection.
  • Section 9: Deployment has been expanded and needs more content/detail related to transitioning to operations, monitoring and assessment, and value realization.

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