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Toe angle measurement for SAG mill control at Lihir gold mine


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Author F Burns, C Aisthorpe, P Blanz, M Randall and P Ebzery


SAG Mill process control classically maintains the SAG mill volumetric filling within a set operating range. Typically a SAG mill weight measurement, by either bearing pressure transducers or load cells, is used as an inferred measurement of volumetric filling. To maintain volumetric filling within a set operating range the SAG weight setpoint use for process control requires regular review due to changes in SAG mill charge density (rock:ball ratio) and the wearing of mill liners. At Lihir Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea, the use of SAG mill weight for process control is additionally complicated by compromised load cells and drifting bearing pressure measurements. The need for an improved method of measuring and controlling volumetric filling led to the recent installation of the Outotec MillSense, a SAG mill toe angle instrument. This paper presents the integration of the toe angle control in to the Lihir SAG mill process control philosophy as replacement for the traditional mill weight control.


Burns, F, Aisthorpe, C, Blanz, P, Randall, M and Ebzery, P, 2018. Toe angle measurement for SAG mill control at Lihir gold mine, in Proceedings 14th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2018, pp 59–76 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).