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.
  • 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 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
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!


More opportunities to participate will be shared shortly.

  • 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.
Table of ContentsDescriptionContent Includes:
Section 3: Change ManagementOffers guidance, considerations, and questions to ask specific to change management planning, critical success factors, and change management progression.  Recommendations for developing a change management plan
 A table listing some critical success factors – the areas of the project that are essential for success
 Key considerations around change management progression, divided into different categories (people, processes, technology) and outlining the considerations from the start to end of the implementation process
Section 4: Business CaseAssists those planning or preparing a business case, including detail on considerations, value drivers, implementation and ongoing costs.  Recommendations about what should be included in a business case
 Discussion on safety risks and how the business case should address safety
 Overall considerations about how the business could consider the current and future state of operations
 A subsection on the full lifecycle cost
 Detailed list of benefits, value drivers, and costs, divided into three main categories (workforce, health and safety, and process/technology)
Section 5: Health and SafetyProvides an overview of key considerations when it comes to health and safety including risk management and analysis, hazard identification, and emergency management planning.  Overview of safety requirements and stakeholders involved in safety processes
 Recommendations for what to include in a risk management plan
 Considerations around risk identification, risk analysis, and controls for risk management
 Guidance on emergency response management and planning
Section 6: RegulationsProvides guidance that promotes best practices around regulatory requirements, with high-level detail that recognizes that every region will be different but is still specific to autonomous mining.  Considerations and guidance for how to actively engage with regulators
Section 7: Workforce, Community, and Social ImpactProvides guidance around what to consider when engaging and preparing the workforce and community, including an engagement plan and a section on education and skills migration.  Guidance for what should be included in an engagement plan, which covers how the workforce will change, building a communications strategy, and what’s needed for a social and economic impact assessment
 Considerations on the different types of skillsets and what kind of skills would be required for autonomous mines
 A discussion on the future skills that would be required that considers how technology is constantly evolving
Section 8: Operational ReadinessOffers general considerations on readiness, so readers know what aspects to consider, key questions to ask, and better understand some good practices. This section includesS information on mine planning and design, infrastructure planning, and engineering design management.  A subsection on technology that covers the application of autonomous technology, infrastructure requirements and considerations, cybersecurity, systems architecture
 A subsection on how deploying autonomous systems impacts the workforce and key factors to consider
 A subsection about the process side, covering mine planning/design, process redesign, challenges around engineering design
 A new subsection discussing performance and metrics that focuses on how the system performs and that it is working as designed
Section 9: DeploymentOffers guidance on deployment and commissioning of autonomous systems, including considerations around transitioning to operations, monitoring and assessments, and continuous improvement.  Steps to consider before deployment
 Guidance on execution plans and commissioning activities