Integrated Mine-To-Mill Optimization of the Toromocho Operation at Minera Chinalco, Perú

Integrated Mine-To-Mill Optimization of the Toromocho Operation at Minera Chinalco, Perú

*D. Fangrong1, D. Yang1, A. Muñoz1, W. Valery2, R. Valle2, B. Bonfils2, and C. Plasencia2

  1. Minera Chinalco Perú S.A. Av. El Derby 250, Piso 20, Lima 33, Perú
  2. Hatch Pty Ltd. 61 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, Queensland 4000, Australia

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

*This paper was presented at SAG Conference held 24-28 September 2023 in Vancouver, Canada. To view the full paper select download file below. 

Minera Chinalco (Chinalco), owner of the Toromocho copper mining complex in Perú, has conducted an integrated mine-to-mill optimization project with the aim to maximize the throughput of the Phase 1 semi-autogenous grinding mill, ball mill, and crusher (SABC) grinding circuit, using the existing assets while maintaining the product size specifications. Following a typical mine-to-mill approach, improvement in the drill and blast operation resulted in significantly finer run-of-mine (ROM) fragmentation and finer SAG feed size. In 2020, Hatch Consulting & Technology was engaged to identify and quantify comminution circuit optimization opportunities for Phase 1, leveraging the full benefits of the fine SAG feed, and developing a throughput forecast model for the medium and long term.

The project identified various opportunities in Phase 1 to increase throughput by up to 14%, with 10% of the increase attributed to the SAG mill discharge system, despite the very-fine SAG feed size. Chinalco is currently implementing the recommendations to capitalize on all benefits and extending the study for the Phase 2 SABC grinding circuit, which has a different installed capacity. This will ensure that the mine-to-mill approach is applied to the complete comminution circuit.

Keywords: Mine-to-mill optimization, comminution efficiency, SAG milling, SABC grinding circuit, specific energy