February 2015

An industry in sync

Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group works to collect guidelines for mining

By Kelsey Rolfe

Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group logo

Mining standards, as important as they are to the industry, vary significantly between different jurisdictions around the world. In an attempt to collect and consolidate this information, the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG) has spent the last two years cataloguing industry standards and best practices on its global standards repository and creating guidelines where there are none through working groups.

Tim Skinner, GMSG’s founding and past chair, said he doubts the repository contains all of the mining standards in the world, but it currently lists several hundred. The group initially put a concentrated effort into finding standards but now updates the database as it comes across more.

“It’s a place to go because there are so many different standards around the globe, and I don’t think there is any one central library of them,” Skinner said. “So it’s trying to provide a helpful facility for people to find what the existing standards may be.”

The group also connects people who have come across common industry issues they hope to resolve and creates working groups to address the challenges, and possibly establish a set of guidelines or best practices.

“It’s kind of an industry facilitator, to bring the necessary stakeholders around the table to get some efforts going on common issues,” said Skinner. GMSG also occasionally contracts consultants to help the group develop guidelines.

The working groups usually have conference calls once a month or every two months and use an online collaboration site to work on projects and review guidelines. GMSG also sets up meetings at conferences around the world including the CIM Convention and the SME Annual Conference.

In 2013 GMSG played a role in securing Canada’s membership to the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) recently restarted technical committee for mining (TC 82).

“There were a number of topics in the scope of the ISO’s technical committee on mining that were a great interest to Canada, so we felt Canada should be a voting member on that committee,” Skinner said.

GMSG worked with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to get Canada on TC 82 as an official voting member. As of November 2014, GMSG is a liaison organization to ISO TC 82, meaning it provides a bridge between the mining industry and the ISO technical committee.

It also helped form the Canadian Mirror Committee for ISO TC 82 Mining, a requirement for countries with voting member status. The mirror committee has representatives from Canada’s mining industry, including owner-operators, suppliers and regulators, among others, who participate in ISO working groups on mining standards.

“We continue to look for interested participants and experts for our mirror committee, who are willing to participate in the actual standards development as reviewers, contributors and organizers,” said Skinner, who is also the mirror committee’s current chair. “We have our first version of the mirror committee established, but we do look for greater participation because there are a number of topics in its scope that are of great interest to Canada.”

If you would like to get involved with GMSG, send an email to Heather Ednie, managing director, at hednie@cim.org.

Learn more about GMSG’s global standards repository at www.globalminingstandards.org.

Current areas of interest for GMSG working groups:

  • Integrated operations
  • Industrial comminution efficiency
  • Data usage and access
  • Onboard technology and connectivity
  • Situational awareness
  • Underground mining
  • Operational safety and risk management

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