In 2015 operations under the ownership and/or management of all Newmont Mining Corporation subsidiaries (Newmont) produced 5.7 Moz of gold and 619 Mlb of copper from mining operations in five countries, with well over 100 Mt of ore processed by various grinding technologies. Processing methods used in the extraction of metals include flotation, oxidation, conventional cyanidation and heap leaching. The grinding technologies applied in milling operations feeding metal recovery processes include conventional wet grinding semi-autogenous grinding (SAG), rod and ball, dry grinding, concentrate regrinding and ultra-fine grinding, and ball milling of high pressure grinding roll product. SAG/ball (SAB) configurations represent the dominant comminution flow sheet within the company and the circuit configurations employed include SAB, SABC-A, SABC-B and single-stage (SS) SAG milling, with SAG mill feed ranging from run-of-mine (ROM) ore through to secondary crusher product. The collective experiences earned from designing, operating and debottlenecking these various comminution circuits provide many lessons that can be applied to the design and optimisation of future operations. This paper provides an overview of Newmont’s diverse comminution circuits, discusses recent performance and offers some insight into optimisation and design considerations based on recent experience in both endeavours.
Giblett, A and Hart, S, 2016. Grinding Circuit Practices at Newmont, in Proceedings 13th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference 2016, pp 293–302 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).