Dec '12/Jan '13

Creating the mindset for operational excellence

MSGC helps develop global mining standards and best practices

By Heather Ednie


The Situation Awareness working group is leading R&D efforts to streamline data to appear on one, standardized screen in all shovel cabs.

As today’s mine operations are challenged to become increasingly efficient, productive and responsible, the need to standardize processes, technologies and tools grows. The CIM Mining Standards and Guidelines Committee (MSGC) was formed last spring, with a mandate to help companies address this need. Since then, MSGC has rapidly gained recognition in the industry, and already has several projects underway and more initiatives in the works.

MSGC was divided into six working groups, each focused on developing initiatives for a specific area. Among the projects driven by these groups, two promise results for early next year. The Situation Awareness working group’s project, Situation Awareness and Common User Interface for Large Excavators, will result in a system prototype to be openly shared with the industry. Also, efforts to standardize access to data from onboard mobile mining equipment are moving ahead with multi-stakeholder collaboration facilitated by two MSGC working groups: Onboard Technology and Connectivity, and Onboard Data and Access. Currently, efforts are focused on benchmarking successes in other industries, such as the fixed plant and petroleum industries, and on determining stakeholders’ data requirements, as well as on what is already available in existing onboard systems.

MSGC activities will continue to gain momentum through 2013, as more com­panies join the committee and projects move forward. The committee will strengthen awareness about the implementation and the use of standards and guidelines in mining through various avenues, including implementation of a social media strategy, independent workshops, contributions to media and sessions at industry conferences like the SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit, the 2013 CIM Convention and the 2013 World Mining Congress. The committee will also host a joint MSGC-EMESRT conference next August. Finally, a Global Mining Standards Scoping Study that maps all standards applicable to operational mining will be launched in collaboration with the Canadian Standards Association. The study aims to identify gaps where standards or guidelines development would benefit the industry.

As a global organization bringing together all stakeholders for the mining community, MSGC has three main objectives: to be a knowledge centre and information hub; to encourage and enable collaboration and communications; and to facilitate and drive both the implementation and the development of standards and guidelines for the global mining industry. The committee’s efforts are supported by key partners, including CIM, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) and the Surface ­Mining Association for Research and Technology (SMART). Also, participating com­panies contribute funding and participate in MSGC events, communications and working groups. Corporate participation grew to over 40 mining companies, suppliers and consultants in early November.

MSGC working groups and activity highlights for 2013

Asset Management To develop proposed common definitions for use of information in mine operations and maintenance.

Onboard Data and Access To compile a Data Dictionary of onboard access points and a database of existing systems used onboard mobile equipment.

Onboard Technology and Connectivity To collect case studies from other industries and information on protocols, such as OPC and J1939, in order to identify how all stakeholders can access data from onboard devices.

Situation Awareness The Common User Interface (large excavators) project will be completed by the end of 2012. In 2013, steps for roll-out to industry will be outlined and further research activities will be identified.

Underground Mining To map data transfer across the generic mining workflow, identify opportunities to derive the most value and support on board data access projects with underground environment experience.

Operational Safety and Risk Management To continue work on leading indicator development as a means to support best practices and to benchmark corporate safety standards.

More information is available on the MSGC website:

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