Expert Mill Control At AngloGold Ashanti

Drunick, W. I. van
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2005
AngloGold Ashanti Metallurgy has recently been involved in the successful installation of intelligent, expert control systems on the milling circuits. The benefits of expert systems in these highly interactive circuits are obvious. Existing comminution tools, which have been developed and can now be incorporated into online control, include improved modelling techniques and understanding, robust and competent simulation methods, sampling techniques, and optimization methods. The minerals processing industry has seen the benefits of predominantly research-based centres turning their focus to commercial applications of comminution circuit modelling packages, which in turn can be utilized within expert control systems. Expert mill control has been successfully installed at AngloGold Ashanti South Africa?s Mponeng and Kopanang Gold Plants. Expert control has also been installed at AngloGold Ashanti?s West African Sadiola Mine operation. The implementation of the systems has produced a number of positive outcomes. Plant surveys usually result in the identification of sub-optimal areas, and the control philosophy is then configured to ensure that these areas (along with the entire circuit) are optimized and maintained. Outdated PID loops have generally resulted in oscillatory control with large amplitude deviations from set-point. Significant improvements in SAR Metallurgy operations have been realized, firstly through achieving stability in the load and cyclone control, and secondly through online identification and implementation of optimized set-point conditions for mill mass, discharge density, etc. Soft sensors are configured to accurately estimate parameters that were historically not measurable, viz. breakage rate, mill load condition, onlinekWh/t-75 microns, mill discharge density and cyclone overflow grading. The Mponeng Plant system achieved circuit stability and improved overall grind. The Plant was able to pay back the control installation after 3 months, based on the additional recovery obtained from the finer grind. The system at Kopanang Plant has also resulted in enhanced plant recovery as a result of a finer grind and a lower residue gold content. The payback for this system was calculated at approximately 6 months. AngloGold Ashanti Metallurgy is currently expanding the installation of expert control to its other operations. It is also evaluating the performance of various suppliers of advanced control systems.
Full Article Download:
(3440 kb)