Multi-stage crushing plants, including high pressure grinding roll (HPGR) circuits, require more materials handling equipment than SAG and ball mill circuits. A temptation exists to neglect the energy consumption of materials handling when doing desktop comparisons of HPGR versus SAG milling circuits because estimation of materials handling power requirements can demand significant general arrangement drafting that is not available when performing preliminary scoping or "desktop" studies.
The largest component of materials handling power is consumed by conveyors when lifting material between stages of crushing, meaning that a simple potential energy model can be used to evaluate conveying specific power consumption. This potential energy consumption for conveying can then be factored to provide overall materials handling specific energy consumption suitable for desktop studies of HPGR and other multi-stage crushing circuits. The technique also permits different crushing circuit flowsheets to be evaluated, at a preliminary level, by simply counting the number of times a conveyor must "lift" ore from ground level up to a bin or other equipment mounted up high.
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