Yves Breau and Emmanuel Sampson-Cobbah win first-ever Technical Excellence award

The new Gold Medal for Technical Excellence and Innovation was created to celebrate Kinross’ technical bench strength and encourage written papers that detail the innovative achievements across the Company.

Our first-ever winners are Yves Breau, Director of Metallurgy, Toronto, and Emmanuel Sampson-Cobbah, Process Manager, Chirano, for a paper about their application of a PolyStl™ liner at Chirano that was presented at the 2015 SAG conference in Vancouver.*

The paper was the product of the duo’s efforts to increase throughput at Chirano’s mill by finding a more effective way to grind harder ore.

An extensive review by Yves and Emmanuel found that it was taking too long to replace the heavy, all-steel liners inside of the grinding mill. The mill has to be shut down while the liners are periodically replaced, reducing throughput and operating time. The steel liners were switched to PolyStl™ liners, which are made with a mix of steel and rubber, making them 85 tonnes lighter and easier to change.

The re-lining time decreased from 72 hours to 56 hours, significantly reducing the amount of time the mill is not in operation. In addition, more ore can be placed in the grinding mill because its operation is weight-based.

Mill liners are costly, making their effectiveness even more important. “Company-wide, we spend $25-million a year in mill liners,” Yves said.

Since switching to PolyStl™, mill throughput has increased by 4 percent. Additionally, with the mill down for less time and lower energy costs, there has been a total benefit valued at $2.4-million per year at Chirano.

“This has been a real team effort with Chirano’s Metallurgy and CI teams. It’s an ongoing process to find the right balance of steel and rubber so that the ore can still bounce off of the liner for proper grinding,” explained Emmanuel.

Yves accepted the award on September 30th in Toronto from Warwick Morley-Jepson, Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer.

Congratulations, Yves and Emmanuel!

An aerial look at Chirano mills

The mix of steel and rubber lifts to reduce weight and increase ore movement 


*The SAG Conference is the Semi-Autogenous and High Pressure Grinding Technology Conference that occurs once every five years.

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