Comparison of Semi-autogenous Mills Operations in Andean Countries

Andean countries (Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina) have 42 semi-autogenous mills (SAG) in operation and there are more than 30 projects in the pipeline that consider SAG mills. At the end of the next decade, the total amount of SAG mills in this area will likely be close to 100.

There is a lot of reliable operational information collected by JRI Ingenieria Sociedad Anonima, the author’s engineering company, for more than 20 years and processed by statistical software, to be used as a reference for design basis of future projects or to improve operations by comparison. JRI Ingenieria Sociedad Anonima has reliable information related to the performance of more than 50 per cent of the Andean SAG plants.

The paper presented considers a set of graphs that summarise the collected and verified SAG plants technical data. The figures will show key parameters as circuits and equipment data, energy consumption, technical availability, utilisation rates, throughput variability, pebble productions, steel consumption and others.

The data is compared with typical design basis of several engineering companies and the main differences are analysed and/or commented on.