Design and implementation of a brownfield SAG pre-crush circuit

CMP 2013


Newmont’s Phoenix mine began gold production in 2006 and has since experienced difficulties in reaching design throughput due to variability in ore hardness. In 2010, a debottlenecking study was conducted, generating multiple options to increase throughput of the existing Phoenix Mill through a series of phased expansions. An option was selected in early 2011 to increase the current concentrator capacity by approximately 25% through two phases. The first phase of the project was the  installation  of  a secondary crushing and screening circuit in order to reduce SAG feed size from a P80 of 6 inches to 2 inches. The second phase focuses on downstream unit operations in the concentrator aiming to relieve existing bottlenecks such as flotation. This paper analyzes the design, commissioning, and operation of a recently installed SAG Pre-crush circuit (Phase 1). The design discussion will focus on concept development, flowsheet design, design criteria, process models, design limitations, and control philosophy. Discussion on the integration of operating data and flowsheet into design during engineering will be presented. Actual operating data of major equipment is gathered from the commissioning and operation of the circuit and compared to the initial design models. Conclusions will be drawn on equipment design factors used during engineering, and the success of model integration into operation. The paper concludes on the successes of the project and where improvements can be made during design.