John Starkey


CIM Fellowship


CIM Distinguished Lecturers

John Starkey is a mining engineer from the University of Toronto with 15 years of experience in mines and process plants, 15 years in process design, and 27 years as a licensed consulting engineer. His career includes work at Kam Kotia, Kidd Creek, and INCO mines and mills. He also worked at Kilborn for 12 years designing the Gays River, East Kemptville and Quintette process plants. He invented and co-developed the SPI and SAGDesign tests which are both widely used in industry today for the measurement of ore hardness for AG and SAG mill designs.

Starkey has presented thirty papers describing his work and progress in ore testing, and is a frequent lecturer globally at universities, teaching the fundamentals of AG/SAG grinding mill operation and design.

His mission is to capture for clients, the rich benefits of SAG milling technology, to help them find the most economical way to grind their ore.

Distinguished Lecturer 2017-18

Lecture Abstract


Comminution circuits

Comminution circuits are historically one of the most difficult parts of a mineral processing plant to design with confidence. There is controversy in the industry as to how best to approach this subject, with many solutions requiring a level of training and expertise beyond the ability of a non-specialist engineer. This has led to a culture of experts who opine on the subject with little or no direct benefit to the design process and the plant operator. In order to change this, mineral industry owners and senior managers need to understand the fundamental challenges that a comminution circuit poses to the design process, to the operators who use the equipment, and to the owners who invest in a project. This presentation is intended to summarize these challenges in a manner which is clear and unbiased, in a format which is applicable to the mining and mineral engineering community.