Review and Optimization of the Hudbay Constancia Comminution Circuit

Review and Optimization of the Hudbay Constancia Comminution Circuit

*M. Medina1, G. Sotomayor1, V. Manchego1, J. Bonilla1, W. Valery2, R. Valle2, K. Duffy2, E. Wang2, C. Plasencia2

  1. Hudbay Perú SAC, Hudbay Minerals Av. Jorge Chávez 235 Dpto 701, Lima, Lima 18
  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. 

Constancia is a copper–molybdenum deposit in the southeastern Andes of Peru. The comminution circuit comprises a primary crusher, followed by two identical, parallel semi-autogenous and ball milling grinding lines. Hudbay started operations at Constancia in 2014, achieving commercial production within a few months, and through several improvements now consistently surpasses the design throughput of 76,000 tonnes per day. However, as mining progresses, the dominant ore type is the harder hypogene ore, which adversely impacts plant throughput and product size. Hatch was engaged to conduct a comprehensive review of ore characteristics, run-of-mine fragmentation, circuit operating strategy and equipment configuration, and determine opportunities for optimisation. Mathematical models were developed, and simulations conducted to evaluate alternative operating strategies to increase throughput while maintaining or reducing the product size and its variability. Opportunities for improvement
were identified and are expected to increase throughput by about 6% to 8% when treating harder ores, without capital expenditure.

Keywords: Comminution, process optimisation, throughput, drill and blast, crushing, grinding