The Open Group, a vendor- and technology-neutral consortium, which is represented locally by Real IRM, has approved the Exploration and Mining Business Reference Model (EM Model) as an Open Group technical standard. This is the first approved standard for the natural resources industry developed by the Exploration, Mining, Metals and Minerals (EMMM) Forum, a Forum of The Open Group.
The development of the EM Model was overseen by The Open Group South Africa, and is the first step toward establishing a blueprint for organisations in the natural resources industry, providing standard operating practices and support for vendors delivering technical and business solutions to the industry.
“Designed to cater to business activities across a variety of different types of mining organisations, the model is helping companies align both their business and technical procedures to provide better measures for shared services, health, safety and environmental processes,” says Sarina Viljoen, senior consultant at Real IRM and forum director of The Open Group EMMM Forum. “I can confirm that the business reference model was accepted as an Open Group standard and will now form part of the standards information base.”
This is a significant development as the EMMM Forum aims to enable sustainable business value through collaboration around a common reference framework, and to support vendors in their delivery of technical and business solutions. Its outputs are common reference deliverables such as mining process, capability and information models. The first technical standard in the business space, the EM Model focuses on business processes within the exploration and mining sectors.
“Using the EM Model as a reference allows us to engage with any client and any mining method. Since the model first went public I have not used anything else as a basis for discussion,” says Mike Woodhall, a mining executive with MineRP, one of the world’s largest providers of mining technical software, support and mining consulting services. “The EM Model captures the mining business generically and allows us and the clients to discuss further levels of detail based on understanding the specifics of the mining method. This is one of the two most significant parts of the exercise: the fact we have a multiparty definition – no one person could have produced the model – and the fact that we could capture it legibly on one page.”
Viljoen adds that Forum member organisations find the collaboration especially useful as it drives insight and clarity on shared challenges: “The Forum has built on the very significant endorsement of its first business process model by Gartner in its report ‘Process for Defining Architecture in an Integrated Mining Enterprise, 2020.’
“In the report, Gartner suggests that companies in the mining industry look to enterprise architectures as a way of creating better efficiencies and integration across the business, information and technology processes within mining companies,” says Viljoen.
Gartner highlights the following features of the EM Model as being particularly important in its approach, differing from many traditional models that have been developed by mining companies themselves:
- Breadth – covers all aspects of mining and mining-related activities
- Scale-Independent –suitable for any size businesses, even the largest of enterprise corporations
- Product and Mining-Method Neutral – supports all products and mining methods
- Extended and Extensible Model –provides a general level of process detail that can be extended by organisations to the activity or task level, as appropriate
The EM Model is available for download from The Open Group Bookstore at https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/catalog/C135