Characterising energy efficiency of particle sorting

G R Ballantyne, M Hilden, K Bartram and V Souto

14thAusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, 29-31 August 2018, Brisbane, Australia


Particle sorting allows partially liberated minerals to be separated prior to energy intensive fine grinding.

Sensors select particles for separation and air, water or mechanical ejectors are used to physically deflect

those selected. To achieve effective separation there has to be sufficient liberation, accurate detection and

presentation of a separated monolayer of particles. These three physical constraints determine the particle

size limits, the sorting technology utilised, the separation efficiency, and the throughput that can be achieved.

The combination of all these factors controls the effective limits on the degree to which sorting can reduce

the specific comminution requirements and increasing energy efficiency. This paper will explore two case

studies: the application of sorting in base metal mining and precious metal mining.



G R Ballantyne (1), M Hilden (1),  K Bartram (2) and V Souto (2)

  1. The University of Queensland, Sustainable Minerals Institute, Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre.




CEEC acknowledges and thanks The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy for organising the 14thAusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference (MillOps 2018). 

Abstracts can be found at the MillOps 2018 website.