You are on page 1of 6

BOCCOST Modeling

Tracking and Relating Mine and Mill Performance Indicators

in Real Time to Increase SAG Mill Throughput

Dean Pontin and Lim Eka Setiawan

PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara

JL Sriwijaya No. 258. Mataram, Lombok, NTB 83125, Indonesia.

Tel: (62-0372) 635318 ext 47704 Fax: (62-0372) 635318 ext 47917 E-mail:

Average production over the 25-year mine life will be

ABSTRACT approximately 210,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate and
420,000 ounces of gold per year. During the course of 2003
The mining and milling groups at Batu Hijau are tasked with the mine is budgeted to ramp up to 650,000 tonnes per day
increasing SAG mill throughput by approximately 10%. Avenues while the mill throughput target will be increased to
used for this process are, blasting and crushing optimization, ore
155,000 tonnes per day.
blending and predicting SAG mill throughput in relation to the
geological model. This is in line with traditional “Mine to Mill” One of the projects aimed at increasing mill throughput is
studies. implementation of a “Mine to Mill” program. A team has
At Batu Hijau, mill and mine sequencing cannot readily be been tasked with this project and a three pronged approach
configured to perform the surveys traditionally required by a was adopted under the program entitled BOCCOST. This is
“Mine to Mill” study while meeting the daily production target of an acronym for Blasting Optimisation, Crushing,
140,000 tonnes per day and processing from varying ore types in Conveying, Optimising SAG Throughput.
one pit.
The first phase of the program was to improve
A program called BOCCOST (Blasting Optimisation Crushing
Conveying Optimising SAG Throughput) has been implemented
communications between the mine and the mill and
to capture approximately 200 variables from blasting, mining and introduce a set of protocols to initiate ore blending
milling operations and assign them to a common point in space in practices in the mine to improve mill throughput.
the geological model in real time. The second phase of the program was to modify blasting
Interpretive analysis of data from BOCCOST is used to model and crushing techniques to produce a product with an
relationships between the 200 variables to determine which and optimum size distribution to maximize SAG throughput.
how these factors affect SAG throughput. Once these relationships
are determined, the blasting, ore blending and crushing process can Both of these phases have been implemented and the
be optimized to generate a product that maximizes mill throughput. operation is already reaping the benefits of higher
throughput and more consistent feed rate to the mill.
The relationships modeled from BOCCOST are also used to
generate a SAG mill throughput estimator, which can be coded The third phase of the program is to extrapolate
into the production block model. The block model can be relationships developed between geological, geotechnical,
reconciled with the geological block model for correlation by blasting, mining, crushing and milling parameters,
geological domain.
throughout the mine’s ore body model to predict mill
Once this relationship is established, SAG mill throughput throughputs. Mill throughput will then be incorporated into
domains can then be established for predicting SAG mill the revenue calculation to determine ore cuts for various
throughput. This SAG mill throughput estimator is then used in ore types when they are blasted, blended and crushed in
conjunction with revenue calculations to determine an ore cut-off,
which combines these two elements to maximize metal production.
managed configurations.
The key to implementing a program such as BOCCOST is
to successfully capture, store, and utilize data collected
from various sources. This paper addresses how the tools
The Batu Hijau project is located on the southwestern end used to implement the BOCCOST data collection system
of Sumbawa Island in the Indonesian Archipelago. It is a has added value to data collected by storing it in a
large, low-grade copper-gold porphyry deposit. The project manageable format, which allows relationships to be better
consists of a open pit mine, concentrator, townsite, port and formed from that data.
power generation facilities. It was commissioned in
September 1999 and currently mines 600,000 tonnes per
day and processes 135,000 tonnes per day.

Background precise SAG mill throughput prediction can be achieved.
By making these associations in real time, short-term mine
A typical Mine to Mill approach is to quantify the leverage planning can also assist to increase SAG mill throughput.
of blasting results of selected individual ore domains to
BOCCOST provides the ability to associate mining and
downstream processes and then optimize them to maximise
milling characteristics to a 25m x 25m x 15m block of ore
overall mine profitability. This is generally accomplished
that has been mined and sent to the mill. Relationships can
be developed that derive SAG mill throughput of certain
 Characterizing selected ore domains; ore types and blends of ore types when mining and milling
 Reviewing current mining and milling practices; conditions are set to increase throughput.

 Base-lining current drilling, blasting, primary crushing Once these relationships are known, they can be applied
forward throughout the ore body model. This allows mine
and grinding operations by conducting quantitative
planners the ability to predict mill throughput of a certain
measurements and process audits to develop site and
ore type or blend when mining and milling conditions are
ore type specific models;
set up in certain ways. Conversely, mining and milling
 Using the developed blasting and downstream models conditions can be changed to increase throughput when it is
to design modified drilling, blasting, crushing and known in advance that certain ore types are going to be fed
grinding processes to increase grinding circuit to the mill.
 Validating the predicted increase by conducting BOCCOST DATA COLLECTION
further mine and plant surveys;
The BOCCOST model consists of data collection from
 Implementing the chosen strategies for monitoring and
geological models, drilling and blasting activities, mining,
maintaining optimum mining and milling process for crushing and milling. Data is collected and stored in an
maximum profit for the organisation.
Oracle database and consumes approximately 140 KB of
This approach has been shown to work well for single memory for a daily data set. Currently over 200 data points
unblended ore types and single mill configurations. It does are being collected from the following sources:
not account for the interaction that occurs between blends
of different ore types. The reality is that at Batu Hijau, mill
Geological Data Set
configuration and ore feed blend are constantly changing.
The challenge to introducing a mine to mill study at Batu The geological data set is contained in two 3D ore body
Hijau is the ability to campaign mill whilst trying to block models, generated in Minesight geological modeling
achieve target throughput levels. software. One model is the exploration model generated
More than one loading unit is required to maintain mill from core drilling and the second is the ore control model
feed rates at 135,000 plus tonnes per day. Current mine generated from blast holes. Both models are used for mine
development does not allow a single ore type to be mined planning and contain similar sets of data regarding mill
simultaneously from the same source by two loading units. throughput variables.
This means that a blend of material must always be sent to
the mill in order to achieve target throughput. Stopping the Exploration Model
mill for surveys also results in loss of mill throughput.
To maintain throughput and implement a large-scale mine The exploration block model size is 25m x 25m x 15m and
to mill program a different approach to collecting data and is based on core drilling with 60m to 120m centers.
analyzing data was required. Geotechnical attributes such as RQD, break spacing and
alterations are determined from core testing. Core is also
used for mill performance indicator testing for predictive
BOCCOST MODEL analysis of mill throughput, such as Bond Work Indices.
Both these sets of data are extrapolated throughout the
The BOCCOST model consists of data collection tools,
block model using geostatistical modeling, resulting in
data storage, data relationship management tools, data
each block being coded with data that influences mill
interpretation and data extrapolation. The model sources
over 200 data variables from the mine and mill in real time,
filters that data for erroneous data and stores that data in
two relational databases. Ore Control Model
The BOCCOST model has two databases as it focuses on The ore control block model size is 12.5m x 12.5m x 15m
short-term planning issues relating to generating a product and is based on blast hole drilling with 8m to 9m centers.
through blasting and blending to increase throughput Geological data such as lithology and alteration is obtained
within one database. The second database is matched to the from blast hole mapping. This mapping better defines the
long-term planning model for future SAG mill throughput boundaries of different material types.
predictive work.
The focus of the model is to collect data from the mill, Blast hole Drilling Data Set
crusher and mine and relate that data to an X, Y, Z co-
ordinate in the geological ore body model. The ore body Each of the blast hole drilled in the mine is equipped with
model also contains geological and geotechnical attributes Aquila machine monitoring and automated drilling
that can be used to predict SAG mill throughput. If milling, packages. From these packages, information such as
crushing, blasting and mining attributes can be associated penetration rates and pulldown pressures is gathered for
with the geotechnical and geological attributes, more each hole drilled. This data is transferred via the mine’s
Dispatch radio network to the Dispatch database. From this are attached to the identifier for each truck that dumps in
database it is transferred to the BOCCOST database. the crusher. Resolution of this data is on a shift basis.
The collar location of each drill is surveyed and entered Product size distribution is digitally monitored and
into the BOCCOST database. This survey position is measured using Split Engineering SplitOnline cameras
critical as all the drill information is linked to this X, Y, Z mounted on the crusher discharge conveyors.
co-ordinate. This drilling information can now be placed
spacially in the BOCCOST model. Milling Data Set

Blasting Data Set The grinding circuit consists of two SAG mills and four
Ball mills in closed circuit with three pebble crushers and
A unique number identifies each individual blast hole. As cyclone classifiers.
each blast holes is loaded with explosives, data such as As for the primary crushers, grinding circuit operating data
hole depth, amount of explosive and type of explosive are such as fresh feed rate, pebble generation rate, SAG and
recorded. This information is used to calculate power Ball Mill power draw and bearing pressure and SAG feed
factors per hole. This information is currently collected by size distribution are collected from the DCS via the data
manually measuring and recording the data in the field and historian. SAG feed size distribution is measured using
keying it into PDAs (Personnel Digital Assistant), which SplitOnline camera mounted on the feed conveyors to each
are downloaded in the office. The mine is currently SAG mill.
introducing wireless connectivity around the mine site.
This will, in the near future, allow automatic collection of Data resolution is currently on a shift basis however will be
this data from the explosive trucks. increased to an hourly basis to better tie in milling
performance with ore location. Residence time in the
various stockpiles and surge piles between the primary
Digging Data Set crusher and milling circuit can vary up to about one hour so
this is deemed the minimum sensible resolution for plant
Each of the mining shovels is equipped with a High
Precision Global Positioning Satellite (HPGPS) system.
From this system each truck loading at shovel is given an Other physical data such as liner and grate configuration
X, Y, Z co-ordinate. This identifies where that truck came and wear, ball size and charge mass and trommel open area
from in the mine and hence where it came from in the ore is manually collected and logged in Excel spreadsheet for
control block model. Each bucket load from the shovel is input to BOCCOST.
located in the block model to sub-meter accuracy and the Each data point type is captured for each of the six mills in
average of the positions for each bucket load is assigned as order to analyze the effect of varying mill configurations
the truck’s position in the block model. on throughput.
As the shovel mines through the ore body, the face advance
of the shovel is downloaded to the mine planning software BOCCOST DATA CORRELATION
through the Dispatch system. On a daily basis, each of the
faces that the ore shovels are mining in is digitally Before data analysis could commence, a system was
photographed and analyzed with Split Engineering Desktop devised to cross associate over 200 variables collected, in a
for fragmentation size and distribution. workable database. Variables are linked by associating a
Once this data is obtained, all the ore within that face time stamp with an X, Y, Z coordinate in the ore body
advance for the day is assigned that fragmentation data model.
spatially in the BOCCOST model. Since each truck that All geological, geotechnical, drilling and blasting data
came from that ore face has an X, Y, Z coordinate in the collected is individually identified by blast hole number,
same model, then the fragmentation data can be assigned to which has an X, Y, Z coordinate in the ore body model. All
each truck that carries ore to the crusher. digging, crushing and milling data is associated with the
time stamp attached to each truck as it dumps in the dump
Crushing Data Set pocket. This truck also has X, Y, Z coordinates attached to
it which identify where the ore came from in the ore body
There are two crushers and four dump pockets. As each model. These associations provide the ability to match
truck dumps in the crusher dump pockets it is time stamped milling data to a specific point in the ore body model in
with an individual identification number. near real time.
An ABB Enterprise Data Historian has recently been
installed and commissioned at Batu Hijau to log and BOCCOST Data Identification Structure
archive process plant operating information.
Approximately 2100 analog and digital data tags are The BOCCOST data set is arranged to record each
logged. This is about 25% of the total current plant individual blast drillhole and relate it to the SAG mill and
Distributed Control System (DCS) Input/ Output (I/O) ball mill parameter set. In general, the data set is classified
capacity. Data stored in the historian archive is extracted into two groups based on unique identity.
and compiled into Excel spreadsheet templates for input to
Primary Crushing plant data such as power draw, mantle
position, surge pile status and crusher product size
distribution are extracted from the historian database and
Geology, drilling and blasting parameters are based on
drillhole identity. The id format is a 9-digit number, The primary crusher is connected to the mill by an overland
outlined as follows. conveyor. The time taken for the ore to travel from the
285055015 primary crusher dump pocket, along the conveyor, through
285  Bench the coarse ore stockpile and into the SAG mill is
055  Drill Pattern
approximately 45 minutes. This 45 minutes is known as lag
time. Mill parameters are assigned to trucks that dumped
015  Hole Number into the crusher 45 minutes prior to the data being
Digging, crushing, SAG mill and Ball mill parameters are collected.
based on a time stamped identity as outlined in the As already noted, SplitOnline cameras mounted on the
following. SAG feed conveyors digitally measure SAG feed
Digging, The id is based on dumping time to crusher. The fragmentation. If these measurements are similar to those
id format is an 11-digit number. on the crusher discharge conveyors, then it is be assumed
20205173605 that the material being dumped into the crusher is directly
feeding the SAG mill.
2  Year
02  Month
Data Flow Sheet
05  Date
17  Hour The data collected for the BOCCOST model enters the
database through two different methods. Data comprising
36  Minutes
geology, drilling and blasting parameters is one group and
05  Second digging, crushing, SAG mill and Ball mill is another.
Crushing, SAG mill and Ball mill have the same id format Figures 1 and 2 outline the two ways that data flows into
in hourly resolution. These parameters do not demonstrate the database.
a great deal of variability over an hourly period. The id
format is in 7-digit number.
2  Year
Figure 1 – Geology, Drilling and Blasting Flow Chart
02  Month
05  Date
17  Hour
Figure 2 – Digging, Crushing and Mill Flow Chart

closest data point from one dataset to another. This enables

Data QA/QC truck data, which contains all of the mill information, to be
linked to either the drill holes in the exploration ore body
Data analysis is only as good as the integrity of the data set that model or blast holes in the ore control model.
is used for that analysis. Previous data used for preliminary
By setting a search radius in the “find” function, truck data can
mine to mill relationship analysis at Batu Hijau contained
be conditioned to certain blast holes or exploration holes. As
erroneous data. All data that enters the BOCCOST model is
shown in Figure 4, all trucks within a radius of 8.9m from blast
filtered for erroneous data.
hole number 255077004, will have their mill attributes
A third party software package called AcQuire is used as the matched to all the geology, drilling and blasting attributes of
Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) of the data that blast hole. By setting a search radius this process will
used for analysis. AcQuire software is configured to accept eliminate excessive distance “matched” data.
data, which has the correct units and precision, and also checks
to ensure it falls between predetermined maximum and
minimum values. Figure 3 contains an example of the data BOCCOST DATA ANALYSIS
entry table for a drilling data set, outlining the entry By constructing a mechanism to relate over 200 variables in
configuration. Data that does not fall within limits is compiled near real time with the geological and geotechnical attributes of
in an exception report and edited or rejected manually. an ore body model, statistical relationships that influence SAG
mill throughput can be evaluated. The effect of changing
BOCCOST Data Linking and Matching variables, such as blasting, can be tracked in relationship to any
other variable within the BOCCOST model. Relationships
BOCCOST data from the geological exploration model is developed between variables can be tested with actual mill
defined by a survey point in space. Drilling and blasting data throughput data.
related to blast holes is also related to a survey point in space.
One of the aims of BOCCOST is to develop two multi variable
Digging and mine fragmentation data is identified by truck
predictive regression models. One model will focus on
load and the position of the truck is related to a point in space
correlating relationships for short-term SAG mill throughput
by HPGPS coordinates. As previously outlined, this same truck
scheduling by utilizing variables associated with the blast hole
is time stamped as it dumps into the dump pocket. This time
data in the ore control model. The second model will focus on
stamp is also attached to crusher and mill data. Linking the
the relationships between variables and the exploration model
time stamp to the HPGPS coordinate of the truck then places
to predict long-term SAG mill throughput.
the mill data in the same X, Y, Z coordinate system as the
exploration and blast hole ore body models.
To be able to utilize the ability of having exploration, blast hole
and milling data in the same coordinated system, data needs to
be matched to allow interpretive analysis. The mine planning
software used at site has a “find” function that associcates the
CONCLUSION The BOCCOST model is unique in that it attempts to capture
the local variability of mill throughput. Unlike campaign
At the time of writing approximately 90% of data collection milling, which attributes ore throughput values to voluminous
mechanisms were in place. Analysis of data had yet to begin. areas of the deposit, BOCCOST will attribute a throughput
Quality of the data collected is most important to the value at an SMU (Single Mining Unit) scale.
conclusions drawn from the analysis and this has been a major
focus of project setup.
The dynamic nature of BOCCOST modeling will allow
continuous measurement and correlation of variables that effect The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions made
mill throughput as those variables are changed to maximize by the Batu Hijau BOCCOST site team, particularly Nebojsa
mill throughput. Data collected will also be used to model Zurkic and Karen McCaffery in the preparation of this paper.
variables other than mill throughput. Prediction of drilling They would also like to thank the management of PT Newmont
consumables use, for example, will be made possible as this is Nusa Tenggara for allowing presentation of this paper.
tracked in the BOCCOST model throughout the ore body

Figure 3 – Drilling Data Set

Unit Minimum Maximum Precision Description

Hole_ID N/A N/A N/A ID for drill hole, #bench#block#drillhole

Drill Number TD001 through TD006
Penetration Rate meter/hour *1000 0 200000 0.1 drill meter per effective drilling time
Hole Diameter mm 100 300 0.1 bit diameter in mm
Drill Hole Depth meters *100 0 3500 0.1 drill hole depth based on drill rod penetration
Bit Serial Number bit number
RPM rpm *1000 0 300000 0.1 rpm of drill rod when penetrating the drill hole
Pull Down Pressure psi *1000 0 3000000 0.1 pull down pressure of drill rod when penetrationg the drill hole
Torque psi *1000 0 3000000 0.1 torque of drill rod when penetrating the drill hole
Air Pressure psi *1000 0 100000 0.1 air pressure when penetrating the drill hole

Figure 4 – Matching Diagram

MINE(BH) MINE(Truck) Distance (m)

255077001 20205173605 5.1

255077002 20205174015 5.2

255077003 20205174325 6.1

255077004 20205174713 8.9