This paper summarizes a comprehensive energy and cost study comparing an existing SAG mill based circuit at Huckleberry Mine with two proposed circuits involving comminution technologies which are associated with energy efficiency: high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) and high speed stirred mills. The specific energy requirements expressed as kWh/t for the proposed circuits were determined from pilotscale HPGR and stirred mill testing conducted at the University of British Columbia. Samples and operating data were collected from Huckleberry’s copper-molybdenum concentrator to evaluate current mill performance for comparison. To support the base case, the SABC circuit was modeled using JK SimMet® software. The main comparison focused on the complete energy requirements for each circuit, including materials handling equipment such as conveyors, screens, feeders and pumps. This paper also provides capital and operating cost estimates for each of the comminution circuits. The results showed that the HPGR - ball mill circuit achieved a 21% reduction in energy consumption over the existing SAG - ball mill circuit at the same P80 grind size of 160 μm. At a grind of 80% passing 75 μm, the HPGR - stirred mill circuit showed a 34% reduction in energy compared to the base case. It was concluded that the energy reduction for the new flowsheets significantly improved the economics of the Huckleberry comminution duty.
This paper was presented and published in the proceedings of the 45th Annual Canadian Mineral Processors Operators Conference©, Ottawa, Ontario, January 22-24, 2013 and is reproduced here with kind permission from the Canadian Mineral Operators Society. Copyright is remains with CIM.