Starkey & Associates (S&A) was established in 2000, incorporated in 2009, and is now recognized as a global leader in SAG mill grinding circuit design. In 2002, John Starkey invented the SAGDesign test. Although the foundation of the test was based on his practical engineering experience, it was in collaboration with Dawson Metallurgical Laboratories and Outotec that the SAGDesign test was developed. The test consists of a robust laboratory SAG test followed by a Bond Ball Mill Work Index test on SAG ground ore (referred to as Sd-BWI).

We offer a wide range of consulting services including plant start-up and overall concentrator process design. We also review existing operations, perform due diligence studies and conduct grinding design seminars for companies, universities and international mining and mineral processing conferences.

The SAGDesign Consulting Group was created to manage and direct the provision of SAG mill grinding design services to clients world-wide. It is an organization of commercial laboratories that has grown to have eleven independent laboratories as members. In 2003 Dawson Metallurgical Laboratories (now FLSmidth) in Salt Lake City provided their expertise while Outotec in Finland patented the test worldwide and co-sponsored the development work. It was this collaboration that allowed S&A to found the SAGDesign Consulting Group with S&A, Dawson, and Outotec as the first members.

The patented SAGDesign technology was introduced into the market in 2004. Currently, over 900 SAGDesign tests have been completed worldwide with six of the world’s largest mining companies using our technology, reflecting the growing acceptance and validity of SAGDesign mill designs and the rapidly increasing demand for such services.

In 2008, CIM Magazine featured an article on John Starkey and the company’s international success.

In 2013, Starkey & Associates made the SAG Variability Test (SVT)  available to clients.  This test was developed from the SAGDesign testing database and is essentially an abbreviated version of the SAGDesign SAG test.  The SVT provides direct measurement of ore hardness variability in kWh/t which is useful for geometallurgical studies in mineral resource development projects.

In 2014, the Bond Variability Test (BVT) was developed and introduced. Similar to the SVT, the BVT is an abbreviated version of the Bond Ball Mill Work Index test, providing direct measurement of the ball mill hardness in kWh/t.

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