19 Jan The Benefits of Comminution
Comminution is a term describing particle size reduction; usually involving crushing and grinding of solid materials to smaller particles or fragments. Comminution can account for up to 70% of a mine site’s energy consumption and is a major operating cost. To avoid wasting large amounts of energy, an energy efficient approach to comminution is crucial. Below, we discuss the beneficial outcomes that efficient comminution has on your business.
By knowing what your circuit is doing, improvements can be made by analysing the data; adopting an appropriate control philosophy and selecting appropriate set points. The “appropriate set points” may differ for various feed blends, which is often leads to increased inefficiency.
Understanding the complex relationships on how the comminution grinding parameters interact with each is difficult. Measure it, understand what it’s doing, know where it should be operating and control the transition to get there. Selecting the optimal grinding media and charge level for your ore type, as well as an optimal liner profile and correct mill speed is the key to efficient grinding. Controlling the classification efficiency while keeping the circulating load within a tolerable band, is the key to good classification. Getting these two circuits to perform in harmony is the key to an efficient overall grinding circuit, resulting in a reduction of grinding energy per unit tonne processed and a more stable circuit; “happiness is a straight trend line”.
By working collaboratively to measure, develop, implement and review your comminution circuit metrics, your business will reduce its energy usage. Meaningful business drivers will improve energy efficiency and can be modelled on best practice to get the most out of your fixed assets.
Above all, it is crucial that your business communicates the importance of an efficient comminution circuit in regards to energy reduction and cost savings. By motivating your company, training employees and engaging them with on the importance of this will have an overall positive outcome for your business.
Orway Mineral Consultants (OMC) is based in Perth, Australia, and Toronto, Canada and are world renowned metallurgists and specialists in optimising and design of comminution circuits. By contacting us today we can help your business to improve your grinding circuit through optimisation and increased energy efficiency, reducing your costs.