Sag Mill Operating Practice And Developments at Hilton Concentrator, Mount Isa Mines Limited, Australia
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1992
The Hilton Concentrator treats a laminated stratiform silver- lead-zinc ore to produce separate lead, zinc and bulk concentrates. Commissioning commenced in December 1989. Grinding circuit performance is above design with a mean flotation feed sizing of 80% passing 65 microns at 800 000 tonnes / year throughput. Grinding is done in two stages with an open circuit low diameter : length ratio SAG mill followed by a closed circuit ball mill. SAG mill control philosophy is to maintain a fixed feedrate for stability of flotation and to control mill charge weight to a setpoint with feed water. It is planned to increase throughput to 1 million tones / year in the second half of 1991. Proposed milling circuit modifications include close circuiting the SAG mill by recycling a portion of the ball mill cyclone underflow, increasing the SAG mill speed from 73% to 79% of critical and offloading of lower than feed grade -20mm /+7mm SAG mill ore scats. This paper will describe current mill operating practice with operating data and key mill developments since the beginning of operations.