Standardizing metrics for comminution efficiency

CIM Montreal 2015
James Connolly (Barrick)
The GMSG Industrial Comminution Efficiency (ICE) Working Group aims to standardize metrics and methodologies for the evaluation, benchmarking, and improvement of industrial comminution efficiency within the hard rock mining sector.

As mining companies increasingly focus on cost reduction and energy efficiency improvements, within a challenging operating environment, it is of substantial value to focus on the costs and energy efficiency associated with comminution circuits. As such, there is a need for mining professionals to be able to quickly and easily assess opportunities for improvement within their comminution circuits. These improvements aim to reduce both: unit operating costs and unit energy consumption. A reduction in the aforementioned metrics improves both the financial performance and unit emissions of the circuit.

Comminution (size reduction, primarily through crushing and grinding) is a major cost centre within most mines. For mining facilities comminution is generally responsible for a substantial share of energy usage at a mine site. Placed against other contributing factors, such as (1) diminishing run of mine ore feed grades; (2) rising energy costs; and (3) a continued focus on greenhouse gas emissions, there is a need for innovative tools, solutions and support for miners to reduce unit operating costs and unit energy costs within this area.

The working group aims to establish guidelines for measuring and comparing comminution circuit efficiency. These guidelines may differ in the accepted methods of hardness testing and the industry accepted empirical calculations applied, however the intent of the guidelines will remain shared across methods. The universal adoption of a single method of hardness testing within the industry is unlikely hence the need for multiple guidelines.

The working group guidelines, with a number of associated standards, currently cover the Bond method(s) and the Morrell method(s). In addition, a guideline pertaining to circuit surveying and sampling is in progress.

Keywords: standards, comminution, metrics, cost benefit, energy efficiency, benchmarking
Full Access to Technical Paper
PDF version for $20.00
Other papers from CIM Montreal 2015