Replacement of Wet Ball Milling Ahead of Mineral Separation with High-Pressure Grinding

Comminution, Part 2


Robert Emmett, McIvor

In response to the Natural Resources Canada “Crush It Challenge”, Corem partnered with UBC and led a project to develop and demonstrate the use of high-pressure grinding to replace the workhorse of the industry, wet ball milling, with high-pressure grinding. Two plant case studies, a small tonnage gold recovery operation, and a large tonnage copper recovery operation, were carried out. Plant circuit performances were compared to pilot plants operated on the same circuit feed set up to represent the novel equipment and flowsheet that was developed to produce downstream circuit feed. Numerous obstacles to industrial implementation of high-pressure grinding in this role which were recognized at the outset of the work were successfully addressed. In both cases, comminution equipment energy savings alone, and final stage total circuit energy savings, exceeded 60% and 50%, respectively.
Keywords: CIMBC22