Classification System Efficiency – A Comprehensive Closed-Circuit Grinding Optimisation Metric

WorldGold 2013


Classification system efficiency (CSE) is a simple, powerful metric that provides a comprehensive measure of classification system performance. CSE directly quantifies the amount of coarse solids in the mill, and as a result, also directly quantifies the percentage of mill power being used effectively. In this manner, it is an effective, practical grinding energy efficiency metric.

Three independent variables drive CSE: circulating load ratio, sharpness of classification, and classifier bypass. Due to practical downstream constrains on per cent solids, improvements realised by increasing circulating load reach diminishing returns as sharpness of classification and bypass deteriorate in the most commonly used classification device, the hydrocyclone. This combination of effects leads to the use of CSE, and its relationship to operational economics, as an objective circuit optimisation criterion.

Its simplicity in measurement makes CSE a useful tool for the plant metallurgist, and it is not subject to a great amount of experimental error. CSE provides the plant operator a fast, simple, and effective means to evaluate the performance of the plant classification system. Improvements in CSE relate directly to circuit throughput and energy efficiency. This paper, through description and plant case studies demonstrates the power and utility of this emerging grinding system optimisation metric.

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