Mine-to-Mill Optimization and Continuous Improvement of Lundin Mining's Chapada Operation in Brazil

Mine-to-Mill Optimization and Continuous Improvement of Lundin Mining's Chapada Operation in Brazil

*G. Evangelista1, A. Moreira1, F. Moura1, I. Souza1, F. Resende1, P. Henrique1, J. Corsini2, A. Ribeiro2, W. Valery3,R. Valle3, R. Hayashida3, B. Bonfils3, K. Duffy3, and C. Plasencia3

  1. Lundin Mining—Chapada Rodovia GO 347 s/n, Fazenda Genipapo, Alto Horizonte GO 76560-000, Brazil
  2. Enaex Rod Régis Bittencourt, BR 116–Km 01, Quatro Barras PR 83420-000, Brazil
  3. 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. 

Chapada’s open pit copper–gold mine and processing plant commenced operation in 2007. As mining has progressed deeper, the ore hardness has increased, adversely impacting plant throughput. Therefore, Lundin, Hatch, and Enaex conducted a mine-to-mill optimization project to maximise throughput with existing equipment while maintaining comminution product size. The comminution circuit consists of two primary crushing lines followed by a semi-autogenous grinding (SAG)–ball mill–crusher circuit.

The project encompassed reviewing ore characterisation data, defining ore domains, reviewing drill and blast and comminution operating practices, analysing historical operating data, a drill and blast audit, measuring blast fragmentation, a comminution circuit survey, and developing site-specific mathematical models for blasting and comminution. Integrated simulations and analysis were used to determine optimized strategies for maximising production for the overall operation (mine-to-mill). This included developing blasting guidelines tailored for each domain to improve blast fragmentation and recommendations to improve comminution performance leveraging the finer feed. This involved changes to operating conditions (crushers, SAG mill, ball mills, and cyclones), liner design, and grinding media size and level.

Keywords: Mine-to-mill optimization, fragmentation, comminution, specific energy, throughput forecasting