In minerals processing, grinding is one of the most energy intensive stages, and there has only been modest innovation in this area over the past few decades. With pressure on mining companies to reduce energy consumption and CO₂ emissions, as well as constantly drive process improvement, grinding is a target area for innovation. This unique solution provides a novel shape of grinding media that can dramatically reduce the time required to get the same passing size, thus potentially saving significant energy costs and CO₂ emissions, and as importantly, allowing higher production output.
The current approach of grinding balls in mills has been in place for decades without significant development. Comminution as a whole is estimated to count for 3% of total global electricity consumption and grinding specifically is known to be the most energy intensive part of comminution. Mining companies are constantly looking for ways to reduce energy consumption in grinding processes.
This innovative solution is a patented technology that provides a new type of grinding medium which is proven to have a dramatic improvement on grinding efficiency with no changes to the flow sheet or grinding equipment. It can be loaded as a replacement to traditional grinding media during recharge cycles and manufactured by existing ball providers. In lab and production plan tests it has been proven to deliver up to 40% energy savings by grinding the minerals in a more efficient way. The grinding process simply happens faster and thus less energy is consumed. Alternatively, a processing plant can simply grind more material in the same time thus increasing throughout. In one full scale pilot, the throughput was improved by 100%. The tests have been performed by world class labs and the technology is now rolling out to full scale mining operations.
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