This paper compares the performance associated with both direct and reverse ball mill closed circuit configurations. Survey campaigns were carried out in both Samarco Mineração industrial plants, i.e., Concentrator I and Concentrator II. The former is equipped with a reverse-configured ball mill closed grinding circuit, while the latter is equipped with ball mills under a direct closed circuit. The study consisted of laboratory jar tests, as well as comparisons between historical data obtained for both industrial plants. Comparisons based on historical data indicated that Concentrator II, configured in a direct mode, exhibited a better performance than that of Concentrator I. Such a conclusion is in contrast with the results obtained from survey
campaigns, which indicated a better performance for the reverse configuration. Such a difference was determined by the performance of the classification stage, carried out in cyclones, as demonstrated by simulations conducted on the basis of previously
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