Operating performance of the Phu Kham IsaMill

G Harbort and D Zoetbrood


The Phu Kham copper-gold operation in the Laos People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is owned and operated by Phu Bia Mining Limited. PanAust Limited holds a 90 per cent interest in Phu Bia Mining Limited, with the remaining ten per cent held by the Laos PDR Government.

The original 12 Mt/a copper-gold concentrator at Phu Kham commenced production in April 2008. An incremental improvement program resulted in a number of circuit changes being incorporated by 2011, including conversion of conditioning tanks to flotation cells and the installation of a Jameson Cell cleaner scalper. In 2012 the Phu Kham Upgrade Project was commissioned to increase throughput to 18 Mt/a. In April, 2013 the Phu Kham Increase Recovery Project was commissioned to maximise performance by debottleneckint the plant IsaMillTM regrind and cleaning capacity.

With the variable mineralogy of Phu Kham ore, control of the c concentrate regrind circuit is essential in terms of achieving effective liberation to maintain concentrator performance. On a routine basis laboratory regrind signature plot data is compare with daily surveys of operational IsaMillsTM. More extensive surveys are also conducted to determine size distribution on a mineralogical basis and the effect of fine regrinding on pulp electrochemistry and flotation performance.

This paper provides a review of the operating performance of the Phu Kham IsaMillTM with regard to power draw, feed and product size distribution, feed per cent solids, mineralogy and pulp electrochemistry. Operating performance is compared with the IsaMillTM signature plot test for predicting performance.



Harbort G and Zoetbrood D. Operating Performance of the Phu Kham IsaMillTM, in 13th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, Perth WA, 10-12 October 2016, pp 39-49 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy).

CEEC would like to thank to The AusIMM for permission to reproduce this abstract.