The Kansanshi copper ore body consists of distinct sulphide and oxide zones as well as a variable transitional zone containing both oxide and sulphide minerals which is referred to as the mixed ore zone. All three ores exist in exploitable quantities for the life of mine. The impact and abrasion resistance characteristics of the different ore types vary over a considerably wide range. To match the variation in mineralogy and mechanical competency across the ore body, different design circuits were installed for the efficient processing of each ore type. It is evident from the installed comminution equipment capabilities of the different circuits that the ore competency distribution of the Kansanshi reserve informed the original plant design making process. Current specific energy consumptions associated with the final circuit products are consistent with the differences in competencies observed amongst the ore types. A series of calibration surveys were performed in order to explore the operational envelope of the three circuits. This paper presents some insights into the operating philosophies employed in the comminution of the different ore types at the Kansanshi operation.
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