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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


MULENGA, F.K.  and  BWALYA, M.M.. Application of the attainable region technique to the analysis of a full-scale mill in open circuit. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2015, vol.115, n.8, pp.729-740. ISSN 2411-9717.

The application of the attainable region (AR) technique to the analysis of ball milling is currently limited to batch data. This paper introduces the use of the technique to continuous milling. To this end, an industrial open milling circuit processing a platinum ore was surveyed. Samples were collected and later characterized by means of laboratory batch testing. On site, several milling parameters were varied systematically so as to collect data for modelling purposes. These paramters included ball filling, slurry concentration, and feed flow rate. After data analysis, a simulation model of the open milling circuit was developed under MODSIM®, a modular simulator for mineral processing operations. The mill was then simulated and the data generated was analysed within the AR framework. Initial findings reveal an opportunity to gain valuable insight by studying milling using the AR technique. From an exploratory perspective and inasmuch as this study is concerned, feed flow rate, ball size, and ball filling were identified as being pivotal for the optimization of open ball-milling circuits. Mill speed, on the other hand, had only a limited effect on the production of particles in the size range -75 +10 μm.

Keywords : attainable region; ball milling; population balance model; milling parameters; scale-up procedure; MODSIM® simulator.

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