The aim of this project is to develop common naming conventions for the different types of mining technology across different equipment types and across different tasks and then use that language to prioritize where our efforts should be.

This project will determine and provide a common taxonomy (categorization, generic framework) and definitions for mining production capabilities (operating functions, processes) and application and control systems that support the production capabilities, primarily focusing on surface mining. It is intended to be forward-looking.

This categorization is intended to be a first step to establish a common understanding, which can be used to support and drive further conversations within GMG in a targeted way, identifying common system integration areas and issues, where further collaborative efforts are needed, and identifying what issues are industry-wide versus what should be left up to the individual operator and OEM relationships. Having this common language and reference that will help operators, suppliers, and other parties communicate about their needs within determined boundaries.

This project will be led by the Data and Interoperability Working Group. 


Common language was also one of the top challenges identified throughout the 2022 Mine Operator Roundtables and Working Group Workshops, particularly within the context of integrating data from multiple sources and sensors and vendors (read the report). This discussion occurred in some form in all of the Mine Operator Roundtables and many of the workshops that were focused on other topics such as asset management, mineral processing, sustainability, and underground and surface mining, emphasizing that this is a key challenge across all aspects of mine production.


The objective is to agree on common language and how things fit together, and based on that, vote on different priorities for where we need to have data sharing, open data, or interoperability.

  • Within GMG: Produce a framework that can help focus the conversations on data and system integration and identify where to focus efforts. This project is a foundational first step for this Working Group.
  • Within the Industry: Provide descriptive output(s) that operators, OEMs, and other vendors and partners to use as a common framework to support communication and manage change as things get more and more integrated. The output should be developed with an understanding that there will still be variation based on many factors, and it must not be prescriptive on how data should be presented or managed.


Note: At the time of proposing the project, there is still a need to agree on the foundational language and terminology within the context of this project (e.g., capability, activity, function application, system, product). It is expected to be a key discussion in project planning and definition after this project is launched.


In Scope 

  • Surface mining production and mine engineering
    • Mine engineering: geology, block modelling, grade modelling, drilling and blasting design
    • Primary mine production: drill and blast, load, haul, convey, dump)
  • Recognize that many categories in underground will be common and potentially focusing on t hose to make it widely applicable.
  • Logical application and automation systems: defined as systems – which include manual and automated processes – that provide a defined set of broad generic purpose functionality, which directly support the production capability with no reference to a specific or physical implementation – the below systems are logical (In the context of this definition, the term “directly” refers to end-user functionality).
  • Defining broad capability buckets (e.g., haulage/material movement, drill capability, loading capability) and providing a frame of reference for systems that are underneath that, with different layers under that.
  • Examples of potential logical application and automation systems to consider:
    • Fleet management
    • Onboard electronic control module (ECM) monitoring, control
    • Unit Function monitoring, automation (tooth monitoring, boom control, fragmentation, drill cycle)
    • Safety systems (fatigue management, proximity detection, collision awareness guidance systems)
    • Autonomous systems (drill, load/haul, dozing)
    • Equipment sensor data and systems

Out of Scope

  • Other functions of the value chain (e.g., processing, supply chain).
  • Underground mining specifics.
  • Vendor-specific commercial products
  • Specific physical system implementations.


In Scope

  • Common industry taxonomy and naming definition.
  • Identification of key application functional interfaces to enable better communication between stakeholders.
  • Current and near-future looking (1-5 years, TBC).

Out of Scope

  • Spider web type model mapping all interfaces/connections.
  • Strict, standardized language
  • Detailed reference architecture.
  • Standardization of how operators, suppliers, and partners should present data and terminology.
  • A representation of how things connect today (could constrain future thinking).
  • Long-term future predictions for how integration will look.


The expected output is clear documentation of a common taxonomy and definitions. Because this project is time-sensitive, and this type of work has a risk of becoming a long-term, more theoretical exercise at the expense of practical usefulness, it is proposed that it will be produced in stages with multiple checkpoints to confirm its usefulness.  Further, because it is forward-looking in its nature, it is expected that there will be a need to revise and produce different versions in steps. Between each step, the scope and process should be revisited.

Depending on the initial outputs, the project could be a series of less formal outputs (i.e., following an approval process like white papers) that are ultimately compiled into a more formal peer-reviewed guideline with a short revision cycle.


We’re 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.