VertiMill® Performance Updates in Secondary and Regrind Duties at Cannington Mine, BHP Billiton

Volume Title: 12th Mill Operators' Conference 2014

The Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre has conducted an intensive VertiMill® (VTM) survey program at the Cannington mine concentrator as part of the ‘collaborative research in stirred milling technology’ program funded by Metso Minerals. Since 2003, Cannington has progressively added grinding capacity into the circuit through VTMs operating in secondary and regrinding duties. Cannington was one of the first mines to adopt this technology in secondary duty by installing two VTM-1500-WBs as part of a capacity expansion to produce sub-100 µm rougher feed. Subsequently, an additional VTM-800-WB was installed in the lead regrind circuit to prepare sub-20 µm cleaner stage feed.

Several surveys were carried out to evaluate the VTM performance over a range of changed conditions. Among the key changes in operating variables were circuit power draw, feed rate and water addition to the bottom of the mill. The average specific energy for secondary duty was 3.7 kWh/t. The lead and zinc regrind mills consume 8.1 and 15.3 kWh/t respectively. Generally, the VTM installations have successfully prepared feed for rougher and cleaner circuits by reducing the top size into the floatable regime with steeper particle size distribution, which has led to enhanced recovery. The survey results show the success of VTM installations in secondary (receiving feed from autogenous circuit) and regrind duties.


Palaniandy, S, Powell, M S, Hilden, M, Allen, J, Kermanshahi, K, Oats, B and Lollback, M, 2014. VertiMill® performance updates in secondary and regrind duties at Cannington mine, BHP Billiton, in Proceedings 12th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference 2014 , pp 263–272 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).