R Butar, M Becker, B Putland, I Lovatt, F Kock

SAG Conference Vancouver, Canada September 22 – 26, 2019


Continuous improvement is a major key performance indicator (KPI) for many metallurgical operations. Improvement never happens by itself and is rarely attributed to a single party or person, but is rather the culmination of different factors, ideas, and efforts towards the overall improvement of a system, which is ultimately driven by culture.

Nameplate capacity of 55 million tonnes per annum (Mt/a) has been achieved at the Sentinel Copper Project (First Quantum Minerals Limited) through the continual efforts of the team, steadily improving throughput and tightened operational control of the process.

This paper provides some background on the project, challenges faced, and explores the observations, recommendations, and changes made at Sentinel involving site personnel, vendors, and external experts. Specific focus is given to the continuous comminution circuit operating data analysis, evaluation, and feedback reporting processes utilized and the positive improvements resulting from the ongoing relationship.


Grinding Support, RGS, Sentinel, Optimization, Continual Improvement


Ramlan Butar (1), Mike Becker (2), Brian Putland (2), Ivka Lovatt (2), & *Fred Kock (2)

1 - Kalumbila Minerals Limited, Mwinilunga Road (T5), Kalumbila Solwezi District,Zambia

2 - Orway Mineral Consultants (OMC), Level 4, 1 Adelaide Terrace East Perth, Western Australia 6004

(*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


The authors would like to acknowledge the operational and management team of First Quantum Minerals (and its subsidiary Kalumbila Minerals Limited) in providing critical feedback, implementing recommendations, driving onsite improvements (the hard bits), and permission to publish this paper.