*P. Lind, K. Erwin, R. Chandramohan, D. Tweed, G. Lane, P. Staples, S. Hille, B. Foggiatto, J. Awmack, B. Patterson

Presented at SAG Conference Vancouver, Canada September 22 – 26, 2019


Newmont Goldcorp’s Peñasquito operation, located in the state of Zacatecas in northwest Mexico, is currently undergoing a series of optimisation works to increase throughput through the comminution circuit. Primary crusher product feeds the comminution circuit, comprising a parallel train of two SAG mills, pebble crushers and four ball mills. Additional feed is augmented through the primary comminution circuitfrom a separate circuit consisting of a secondary crusher and an HPGR.

As part of the optimisation plan, Ausenco, Peñasquito, and Newmont Goldcorp Technical Services defined clear strategies classified into short-, medium-, and long-term opportunities in preparation for the future competent ore sources. The comminution circuit at Peñasquito was operating below its full potential due to some unit operations not fully drawing installed power as well has material handling bottlenecks limiting individual circuit throughput.

Some of the critical comminution optimisation strategies included

:•De-constraining the SAG mill throughput with optimized operational load set points and revised process control

•Redesigning the SAG mill liners for optimum load and speed control

•Optimising crushing and HPGR operation for maximised throughput rates at the minimised product size distribution.

Ausenco’s comminution optimisation tool, Ausgrind, was used to benchmark and analyse plant data with empirical models, predict circuit performance for varying ore characteristics, evaluate SAG mill liner wear,and predict the life for varying operating parameters. Variances between the actual and the predicted values were assessed in detail to identify missed opportunities and help guide operations with re-defined operating parameters to maximise throughput and productivity.


SAG-HGPR circuit, control, SAG mill optimisation


*P. Lind1, K. Erwin2, *R.Chandramohan3, D. Tweed1, G. Lane3, P. Staples3,S. Hille1, B. Foggiatto3, J. Awmack2, & B.Patterson3

1Newmont Goldcorp, Vancouver

2Newmont Goldcorp PeñasquitoOperations

3Ausenco, Vancouver and Brisbane

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


The authors acknowledge the site and project team who took part in the Peñasquito Optimisation work in support of publishing this work. Notable support is acknowledged to David Rose, Ausenco Site Manager, Woodgrove Technologies,and CS Automation.

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