Are SAG mills losing market confidence?

By P. Staples, G. Lane, R. Braun, B. Foggiatto & M.P. Bueno

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Autogenous (AG) and semi-autogenous (SAG) grinding mills are considered a mature technology, so why are we seeing a number of recent projects not achieving nameplate capacity and is SAG technology losing market confidence, particularly in financial circles? This paper presents a critical review of underperforming AG/SAG mills based on public domain information comparing design expectations with actual operational performance. Actions taken in operations to mitigate the issues and optimise mill performance are listed, including a high level discussion on capital and operating costs.

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