Some approaches to High Tonnage Comminution

During the last few years high-tonnage plants have been designed with comminution circuits using semiautogenous grinding (SAG) mills, high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR), or both, followed by ball mills in different configurations. A strong interest in improved energy efficiency and reduction of carbon footprint, along with the recent launch of new high-capacity crushers and stirred grinding mills, has driven the industry to investigate the development of novel flowsheets. This paper presents work based on recent projects that include modeling and simulation of two innovative circuits recently considered for current projects. One circuit uses autogenous (AG) mills and parallel trains of crusher-HPGR and the other is a modified three-stage crushing circuit with the use of HPGRs and pebble mills. The paper indicates the potential savings in operating costs provided by the HPGR-pebble mill circuit when compared to a more conventional SAG-mill-based circuit.