Integration and Optimisation of Blasting, Crushing and Grinding at the Newmont Ahafo Operation

Metso Process Technology & Innovation (PTI) has been conducting a Mine-to-Mill or Process Integration and Optimisation (PIO) project at the Newmont Ahafo operation with the objective of increasing plant throughput. Benchmarking surveys were undertaken in January 2009 to determine process performance before implementing changes. Site specific models were then developed and used to simulate alternative operating strategies for blasting, crushing and grinding processes to increase throughput. Ahafo implemented a number of the recommendations made by PTI and then three validation blast trials on similar material were conducted in November 2009.

The post-PIO validation trial results measured over an extended period up to the end of Q1 2010 showed a total performance improvement of at least 8% in total SAG mill throughput compared to the benchmark surveys as well as previous audits on similar material.

This paper summarises the work completed to date as part of this project and the achievements made at Ahafo in increasing mill throughput.

With permission from University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana.