SELFRAG AG has developed a flexible pilot scale Pre-Weakening Testing Station (PWTS) using high voltage pulses (HVP). This provides a unique opportunity to investigate the machine setting conditions on ore breakage behaviour. A joint campaign was undertaken by the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre and SELFRAG AG to investigate the breakage behaviour of two copper–gold ores and one iron ore in the PWTS. The effects of specific energy, pulse voltage, cumulative discharges, feed particle size and ore particle breakage pattern (body breakage or surface breakage) were investigated. The investigation revealed that the mass-specific energy of HVP was the most significant factor affecting the breakage behaviour in the PWTS. This effect was compounded with the effects of ore properties and particle size. Comparison between the PWTS and a laboratory HVP machine indicates that there is considerable scope for optimisation of HVP performance based on processing zone design.
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