Engineering & Mining Journal

JAN 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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PLANT ENGINEERING 26 E&MJ • JANUARY 2019 "The most promising initiatives are selected, studied and implemented. In a large number of instances, the site teams have already identified the best opportu- nities. The program is very effective at elevating good opportunities and getting them implemented in a timely fashion. This is where we often see comminution focused opportunities rise to the top, based on economic impact. Often these types of initiatives make a real difference to the mine site economics." Giblett points to project team compo- sition as another critical success factor. "We have usually involved cross-func- tional teams in these projects, drawing on technical, maintenance and operational ex- perience. Having a diverse range of people involved in the improvement projects helps with problem solving as well as ensuring a successful implementation," he said. "We also look outside the project teams and even outside the organiztion. Plant operators make invaluable observa- tions about plant performance; their input is essential. Vendors have a lot to offer too, as they are often the conduit for new knowledge based on product development or practical experience from other sites. "Anyone else who is a constructive thinker, irrespective of the role — people who question assumptions and challenge logic are really good to have around. People from outside the processing space can make useful contributions as they see things, con- straints or otherwise, that may not be obvi- ous from within the processing bubble." Leadership is another critical success factor. Without managers who support their teams, back high-potential ideas, and en- courage the generation of new improvement ideas, there is no change. Of course, the ideas need to be framed appropriately. "I don't think you can beat a clearly presented value proposition. Know the science you intend to exploit — ideally in simple terms — be clear to the expected value, and have a well thought out im- plementation plan that includes securing stakeholder buy-in," Giblett said. "When you have a system that forces you to put the dollars around the potential, it helps support them to come to fruition. It builds on knowledge, brings new insights, and boosts performance and productivity." Results One of Newmont's biggest challenges, in- creasing the mill throughput at Bodding- ton, was also one of its greatest success stories, according to Hart. "The operation demonstrated early on that it could exceed the design through- put rate, with up to 130,000 metric tons per day (mt/d) processed at times during the first year of operation. However these rates could not be sustained due to equip- ment reliability issues, and this has been the key focus of our operation for the past five years," he said. "Needless to say we have taken the annual throughput from 35 million mt to more than 39 million mt in FY2017, and there are still more improvement opportu- nities that have been identified. "Working on the ball milling circuit, we have also seen this result achieved with a reduction in final grind size due to increasing the power consumed by the high pressure grinding rolls circuit, finer feed to the ball mills, and a smaller ball charge addition to the ball mills (as a re- sult of the finer feed). "This has had a positive impact on metal recoveries for the operation at the same time that throughput has been increased, which is not always the case with operations. Whenever you have a good focus on grinding circuit efficiency or even metal recoveries, you are working at improving energy efficiency by default." Driving Advances Across Mine Sites Worldwide Mine sites scattered across the world may not often have the opportunity to share practical improvement stories like those published by Newmont. But knowing what colleagues are doing can provide good ideas, and collaboration pays dividends. CEEC is an independent, not-for-profit group of like-minded people, set up by the industry, for the industry (100% funded by industry sponsorships). The coalition's mission is to keep en- gineers and plant managers abreast of the cutting edge of min - erals processing and comminution advances by sharing these advances across its global network. The CEEC encourages interested parties to actively partic- ipate by sharing leading practices, innovations and published case studies and papers via the CEEC website at www.ceecthe- By joining the CEEC News mailing list, people can stay in touch with the latest breakthroughs and other news: • Join CEEC News at • Review or contribute to more than 50 published case studies at • Access hundreds of published papers on advances and opera- tional improvement at • Learn about relevant industry events and CEEC's low-cost workshops at conferences. Contact CEEC's CEO to learn how you can get involved, or to express your interest in becoming a CEEC sponsor. A sponsor- ship will help them continue to provide free resources and tools to minerals processing and comminution specialists around the world. He CEEC wants to help miners boost energy efficiency, reduce costs and increase NPV. Email Top 3 Improvements Projects 1. Increased SAG mill efficiency at Ahafo surface gold mine, Ghana • Grates and turbo pulp lifter combination. • Total discharge end optimization and strong improvements in efficiency. 2. Grinding media optimization work (size and chemistry), all Newmont sites • Shows that there can be significant opportunities in this area. • In the absence of rigorous assessment, existing rules of thumb and assumptions around what is optimal can be inaccurate. 3. Mine-to-mill or mill feed size optimization, Boddington surface gold, copper mine, Western Australia • Increasing the amount of fines in the mill feed. • Improving shovel dig rates and improving the mine/mill interface at the primary crusher. • Taking the primary crusher throughput from 120,000 metric tons per day (mt/d) to well over 150,000 mt/d.

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