Process Integration and Optimisation of the Boddington HPGR Circuit

The current mining operations at Newmont Boddington Gold Mine (NBG) commenced in 2008, and commissioning of the processing plant started in the latter half of 2009. Metso Process Technology and Innovation were engaged to assist NBG with commissioning and project ramp-up through the implementation of a comprehensive “Mine-to-Mill” Process Integration and Optimisation project. This methodology entailed extensive data collection which included drill and blast audits, ore characterisation, comprehensive comminution circuit surveys and review of operational data to assess the limitations within the current mining and processing operations. The results of these investigations have been used to define the operating base line of both the mining and processing areas and identify improvement opportunities. The use of modelling and simulations, utilising actual production data, has allowed for multiple scenarios to be evaluated, minimising the requirement for actual trials and thereby minimising impact on the operation. Improvements implemented to date include: the introduction of routine rock strength measurement for inclusion in block models, modifications to blast design improving ROM fragmentation and downstream comminution process performance, and changes to improve performance of secondary crushing and grinding circuits. Close cooperation between the mine and plant personnel is playing a significant role in overcoming the challenges presented to this operation and further improvements are targeted for the second full year of process plant operation.

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