If the ore is hard, comminution is not only the largest energy consumer in mineral processing. It's also the largest capital expense and operating cost.
In modern low-grade mining operations, comminution uses energy and other consumables on a scale that is unprecedented. Today, new deposits are being found in more remote areas and are trending toward harder ores and finely grained minerals. These factors have major implications for both capital and operating costs.
Add to that today's growing concern about the environment on the part of stakeholders, and it's clear that there's a bigger focus on reducing energy consumption and leaving an always-smaller, ever-greener footprint.
Our grinding expertise includes AG, SAG, pebble, and ball-mill circuit designs for new plants or expansions. It extends to debottlenecking studies using operations assessments, modeling, and simulations. For greenfield projects, we provide optimal equipment selection and circuit layout, considering operability, maintainability, and expandability.
Crushing and HPGR
With mineral-processing expertise and capabilities in crushing systems, we help you design and optimize primary- and multi-stage crushing circuits for downstream heap-leach or grinding processing. We're experienced in the design of crusher-HPGR circuits, including material-handling-and-dust suppression and collection systems.
Modeling and simulation of comminution circuits
A proper model is an invaluable tool for circuit optimization. Depending on your needs, a variety of software can be used for steady-state or dynamic simulation of comminution circuits. Modeling and simulation also provide information to help select the best equipment and plant layouts during new circuit design.
Mine-to-mill integration and optimization
Integrated optimization methodology covers the assessment and improvement of drilling and blasting, comminution, flotation, dewatering, and thickening stages. Best results are achieved as each stage is adjusted to provide the greatest benefit to the whole operation. Our proven methodology typically enables a 5–30% throughput increase with higher recoveries and reduced overall operating costs.
Precrushing provides relief to the grinding circuit. It increases efficiency within the SAG mill, increasing overall throughput, or enabling the existing level of throughput to be maintained when ore hardness increases. Good design considers the best selection of crusher and screen to fit the plant layout.
It's advisable to reduce the amount of gangue in mineral ore ahead of downstream processing stages. The preconcentration process enables mining rates to increase without needing to expand plants or increase the grade of the plant feed for higher recovery. Either way, lower operating costs can be achieved by improving the quality and quantity of the metal produced.