Analysis of the performance of large-diameter ball mills at Bougainville using the population balance approach

Lo, Y. C. ; Herbst, J. A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
This paper attempts to answer whether or not the mill performance at Bougainville could have, in fact, been predicted by the population balance approach, or whether other special considerations are required to explain their behavior. In recent studies, the plant tests were performed at Bougainville and batch tests were carried out at the Utah Comminution Center. In all tests power measurements were made and several levels of energy input to grinding were evaluated. Also, tracer tests were performed for mill residence time determination. The performance of Bougainville's 5.5x6.4-m mill has been very successfully predicted by population balance methods. The prediction errors are only about 1% on product size distribution and 4% on power with a mill volume scale-up of 3790:1. It is significant that this approach will reduce the risk of failure in large mill design that has been recognized in traditional methods.
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