Underground innovation, autonomous mining and interoperability at GMG’s Future Mining Forum in Sudbury

Published: August 27,2018

Being part of the conversation

By Francine Harris

Underground innovation, autonomous mining and interoperability were the focus of GMG’s Future Mining Forum in Sudbury last June. With more than 160 participants, the event was a success by all accounts.

“I believe we are a pivotal generation in the evolution of mining,” says Owain Morton, Glencore’s Global Mining Lead – Business Transformation, who participated in the Sudbury forum. “These forums help us collaboratively try and manage our own destiny rather than being forced into change by the world around us.”

The format of GMG forums includes provocative presentations from experts outside of mining on new ways of thinking, real-life experiences from industry leaders and updates on GMG projects. Presentations given covered current initiatives by industry leaders, case studies and updates relevant to GMG projects. Participants also took part in an informative panel discussion on artificial intelligence in mining and contributed to interoperability and autonomous mining guidelines via interactive breakout sessions.

These forums go beyond the traditional speaker-listener conference format. Invigorating discussions after each speaker and breakout sessions, where participants do substantial work on guidelines, create a space where volunteers can take ownership of the industry’s innovation and, as GMG Managing Director Heather Ednie states, “makes them part of the community, not just witnessing change.”

GMG’s Future Mining Forums were developed to foster wide collaboration between industry members, allowing participants to share their expertise with the global mining community and discover new pathways to sustainability and cost-efficiency. They offer a chance to discover how the industry’s collective vision of future mining will look. These forums are small by design to give all participants the opportunity to be part of the conversation, work with their peers and effect change.

Morton explained how it is easy to get caught up in projects and have “site-based tunnel vision” and that these forums bring value because they provide “a wider perspective” on emerging technologies in mining. As an example of this wider perspective in action, Morton explained that as a result of the Sudbury forum, LTE technologies, previously only considered in a specific Glencore Canadian site, are now being researched for their broader applicability in underground settings globally and where applicable.

Everyone welcome

There is still an opportunity for those who missed the Sudbury forum (or the Brisbane forum that just took place) to take part in one of the many GMG events taking place around the world this year – be it forums, workshops or the Summit, the latter reserved exclusively to Collaborator and Leadership level members.

Each forum is held in partnership with regional mining associations or other local partners to ensure that region’s voice is strong within the global mining community. Upcoming forums are being held in Edmonton (October 2-3), Tucson (October 17-18) and Santiago (November 13-14).

In the upcoming forums, Morton expects, “further collaboration with service providers, peers from the mining operations teams actually executing projects and more insightful relations to be created from service providers that are not traditionally in the mining industry but are very compatible.”

Information on upcoming events can be found here.




About GMG

The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) is a network of like-minded companies driving change in the mining industry. Together, we monitor the pulse of the industry and develop multi-disciplinary guidelines to manage risk, enhance performance, design solutions, inform planning and decision making, and save time and money. Our members are mining companies, OEMs, 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. Through multi-stakeholder working groups, we are systematically removing the impediments to create the safe and sustainable mines of the future.


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