Evolution of AG/SAG Milling Technology - Current Status and Future Directions
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1998
Early experiences suggested autogenous mills were difficult to operate and consumed substantially more energy than conventional rod/ball mill circuits. As our understanding has increased and the technology has matured this perception has changed to the point where most new comminution circuits are ag/sag based. In addition many operators have replaced existing conventional circuits with this technology. The JKMRC has been studying ag/sag mills for over 20 years. During this time it has amassed what is probably the single largest and most detailed data base of pilot and full scale mill operations in the world. This has been used to help develop and refine its cur- rent commercially available mathematical model of ag/sag mills. A decade of its application has greatly helped simplify both design and operation of ag/sag milling circuits as well as helping to promote the effective use of recycle crushing, secondary crushing and closed-circuit operation. This paper describes the development of ag and sag milling in terms of our understanding and the evolution of the technology. In addition the application of mathematical modelling and simulation in designing and operating efficient circuits is described with the aid of practical examples.