APC at LaRonde: The Progressive Control Approach

Y. Dumais, R. Lemire, T. Banerjee and H. Weitz

Canadian Mineral Processors Conference, 23-25 January 2018, Ottawa, Canada


Agnico Eagle LaRonde produces over 300,000 ounces of gold annually, along with silver, zinc and copper by-products. The LaRonde plant consists of a conventional SAG and Ball mill circuit, followed by flotation. Load management is imperative for maintaining stability in grind size and ensuring consistency of the flotation feed. In flotation, the mass pull profiles of the cells and reagent dosage rates need to be managed to maximise recovery, while maintaining product quality. This is achieved by controlling the air, level and reagent addition set-points across the circuit. However, disturbances such as feed size distribution, ore hardness and minerology make it challenging to maintain efficient control using traditional control techniques. 

LaRonde therefore worked to develop a progressive control strategy, targeting stability and optimization. This started with a year-long instrument upgrade campaign, focusing on optimizing the performance and reliability of plant-wide instrumentation. The process was then optimized, leveraging AwaRE advanced controllers running in closed loop with PARC modeules embedded within the PLC. The installation of 8 PFC cameras in flotation changed the flotation operation from a level and air based control strategy, to one that controls mass pull. This new control philosophy has allowed the plant to effectively manage mill load, improving grind size and providing increased throughput with better flotation performance.


  1. Dumais (1), R. Lemire (1), T. Banerjee (2) and H. Weitz (2)

  1. Agnico Eagle, LaRonde, 10200 Route de Preissac, Rouyn-Noranda, Canada
  2. Woodgrove Technologies, 367 Rimrock Rd, Toronto, Canada


CEEC acknowledges and thanks the CMP Society for organising the 51st Canadian Mineral Processors Conference. Conference proceedings can be purchased here.