IsaMill medium competency and its effect on milling performance

Gao, M. ; Cronin, B. ; Harbort, G. ; Young, M. F.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
Traditional fine-grinding mills in mineral processing rely on the use of steel medium for particle size reduction. The IsaMill (a horizontal stirred mill with a 3, 000-L net chamber volume and a rated motor power of 1,120 kW) has successfully adopted a novel product-separator design, which has led to a major revision of medium use in fine grinding. The IsaMill separator has successfully operated with a wide variety of medium types, such as silica sands, river gravel, smelter slag, run-of-mine ore fractions and steel shots, with sizes ranging from 0.5 to 10 mm. Great flexibility in the IsaMill operations has been achieved for processing feed as coarse as 120 µm to a product as fine as 5 µm. This paper discusses the performance of two inert grinding media in the IsaMills that are used at Mount Isa Mines Ltd. for the processing of galena- and sphaleritebearing ores to below 10 µm. They are the copper reverberatory furnace slag (CRFS) and the heavy-medium plant rejects (HMPR). A methodology was also demonstrated for comparing the medium performance and for scaling up the IsaMills from a 1.5-L laboratory batch mill to a full-scale 3,000-L mill.
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