The Concentrator 1 plant at Cadia transitioned from Cadia Hill open pit to the Cadia East block cave ore body in 2013. As a result of this change, major plant upgrades were required to achieve the desired throughput while treating more competent ore. The 40-foot (40’) SAG mill now receives a feed of predominantly high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) product with a minor component of secondary crushed ore at a combined F80 of 17 mm. The significant reduction in feed size to the SAG mill has markedly changed the operating characteristics of the mill, which has been extensively studied since commissioning in 1998.
This paper examines the operation of the 40’ SAG mill in its new configuration in the Concentrator 1 circuit. Operational stability is highlighted as a significant factor in delivering mill performance, which has been achieved through several key improvement projects utilising a theory of constraints framework. Five years of successful project implementation has progressively lifted the maximum processing rate of Concentrator 1 from the design estimate of 2455 t/h to above 3000 t/h.
Waters, T, Rice, A, Seppelt, J, Bubnich, J and Akerstrom, B, 2018. The evolution of the Cadia 40-foot SAG mill to treat the Cadia East orebody: a case study of incremental change leading to operational stability, in Proceedings 14th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2018, pp 217–232 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).