The recent progress in electrical comminution using high-voltage pulses and the technical challenges in order to bring this technology to the mining industry are outlined. Pre-weakening ore particles and preferential liberation of minerals at coarse sizes are the two major research outcomes that may have potential benefits for the industry. A particle pre-weakening characterization method by single- particle/single-pulse test has been developed. The emerging challenges for the mining industry to realize the benefits of this novel comminution technology include scale-up for industrial application, hybrid circuit design, maximization of pulse-induced cracks, and study of the downstream processing effects.
Received: September 27, 2013; revised: October 28, 2013; accepted: November 21, 2013