I’ve enjoyed a long and valuable relationship with the Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) over several years now. I initially somehow crossed their path when doing some early thinking about autonomous mining. I went along to some workshops facilitated by the uniquely-talented Andrew Scott and ended up participating in the working group, even providing some modest content into what became a really useful initial guideline.

Our company was still exploring and considering autonomous mining at that point so it was early days for us but GMG provided a really great forum to learn, contribute, meet peers and vendors, and basically come away feeling a lot more prepared for what such a massive change in our business might look like. It’s taken us several years to get lined up for this and I know that the GMG materials and connections have helped in a number of ways.

GMG is a unique organisation in the Mining sector which has built a huge gathering of mining operators, equipment vendors and service providers who come together in a warm and collaborative way to set aside any differences or sense of competitive advantage, and rather focus on improving our industry together with a true sense of “a rising tide raises all boats.” I’ve gotten to know some really amazing people across all contributors to our industry and GMG has added so much depth to my own leadership journey in the mining sector. Just having positive relationships and the ability to have a quick chat with peers across the industry is invaluable, knowing that they’ll take your call or respond to your email because you have that collaborative relationship with them.

When the opportunity arose a few years ago to help kick off the Artificial Intelligence in Mining Working Group, I jumped at the chance to make a difference in this space. As Chair of this group, we’ve seen the group grow from a rather immature and “gee whiz” sort of beginning to regularly enjoying some amazing presentations from participants on very cool projects and case studies where AI is being utilised in very practical and valuable ways in Mining. The AI Working Group continues to be one of the most well-supported elements of the GMG program and I’m really intrigued to see where this continues to go. There’s so much more to be done and it feels like we’ve just scratched the surface. But it’s been a great example of what is possible when a whole bunch of people from mining companies and vendors get to together to collaborate in a very open-handed way.

And now, this past July, after a migration out from CIM to running as our own independent entity, GMG has laid the foundations for this new phase of its journey with new By-Laws and a Board to take over the work of the old Executive Council which governed the organisation in its previous incarnation. Membership has grown through the COVID period and the future is looking very exciting.

I was very, very honoured to be elected to the new Board as Vice Chair. It’s obviously always nice to be recognised for the contributions you’ve made and to get a sense that people trust you with the tremendously important responsibility of governance, but more importantly I’m just excited to get a front-row seat to what lies ahead for GMG and to have a role to play in helping to shape and guide that future. I think GMG is just going to go from strength to strength and has the capacity to influence some huge positive changes in the industry and to provide some of the tools that will be needed to drive some of the big decisions that lie ahead in the future of Mining.

There are some amazing projects afoot across our range of Working Groups. If you’ve not had an exposure to GMG, I’d really encourage you to take a look and get involved. You won’t regret it!