Image: Comminution circuit optimisation: Realising value through practical solutions

Minerals & Metals1 min read

Comminution circuit optimisation: Realising value through practical solutions

2017- 2019

Ausenco’s process optimization and debottlenecking team optimized a comminution circuit, which was highly constrained due to highly competent feed and an inadequate operating strategy. Through fit-for-purpose design solutions, modifications, and optimized process control and operating strategies, the overall circuit saw a significant increase in capacity compared to the baseline.

The Challenge

The comminution circuit, a conventional SAG-based flowsheet with scalped feed augmented by secondary crushing to supplement the SAG mill’s primary crusher product feed, presented significant challenges. These challenges were throughput-related due to a combination of increasing high-ore competency in the mine plan, suboptimal operational strategies, and inadequate process control for a complex comminution circuit.

The Better Way

Ausenco’s optimisation approach is to challenge the norm by fully using the installed comminution power, efficiently. Achieving the optimized solution is realized through a combination of fit-for-purpose engineering solutions, improved operating parameters and a revised operating strategy with clear process-driven objectives.

The Outcome

Debottlenecking solutions include:

  • Maintaining high coarse ore stockpile levels to maximize the augmented crushing circuit operation
  • Optimized control strategy to maintain process stability in the crushing circuit
  • Maximizing HPGR operation by increasing the feed rate
  • Redesigned SAG shell mill liners to maximize operating loads and mill speeds
  • Optimized SAG mill load to increase breakage rates
  • Process performance-focused operator training to maximize equipment operability and use

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