Shifting the Comminution Workload from Secondary to Regrind Stage: An Energy Efficient Approach


Procemin-Geomet 2017, Santiago, Chile, 4-6 October 2017

A novel approach to the circuit design through smart application of conventional processing units is the most viable solution to overcome the challenges in the mining industry when dealing with low-grade, competent, and finely disseminated ores. Construction of large-scale concentrators with large grinding mills such as SAG and ball mills does not solve the intrinsic limitations of that equipment in treating the challenging ores. Conversely, additional grinding power in the secondary stage or introduction of the tertiary stage grinding are the typical options for the brownfield expansion. This paper is proposing an alternative approach to process low-grade, competent and finely disseminated ore bodies. The idea is to shift the grinding workload from secondary grind stage to regrinding stage by coarsening the SAG-Ball mill-crusher (SABC) circuit product to 300 µm and introducing the coarse flotation in between the secondary and regrind stages plus introducing the energy efficient grinding technology such as the TowerMill to prepare the feed for rougher flotation with particle size of 95 µm. A simulation study was done using the SABC and TowerMill circuit model from industrial survey data. The comparison study had shown that the proposed circuit consumed 42 % less energy and 23 % lower operating cost (OPEX) compared to the conventional SABC with a tertiary grinding ball mill to prepare 95 µm rougher flotation feed. Furthermore, the recovery in the rougher flotation was 2 % higher due to narrow particle size distribution. Based on these outcomes, there are opportunities to improve the comminution circuit energy efficiencies and reduction in comminution OPEX by shifting the workload from secondary to regrind stage.



Samayamutthirian Palaniandy (1), Hidemasa Ishikawa (2) and Mohsen Yahyaei (3)

(1) Nippon Eirich, Australia

(2) Nippon Eirich, Japan

(3) SMI-JKMRC, University of Queensland, Australia



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