IMPROVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY VIA OPTIMIZED CHARGE MOTION AND SLURRY FLOW IN PLANT SCALE SAG MILLS

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The U.S. mining industry operates approximately 80 semi-autogenesis grinding mills (SAG) throughout the United States. Depending on the mill size the SAG mills draws between 2 MW and 17 MW. The product from the SAG mill is further reduced in size using pebble crushers and ball mills. Hence, typical gold or copper ore requires between 2.0 and 7.5 kWh per ton of energy to reduce the particle size. Considering a typical mining operation processes 10,000 to 100,000 tons per day the energy expenditure in grinding is 50 percent of the cost of production of the metal. A research team from ... continued below

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Rajamani, Raj K.; Latchireddi, Sanjeeva; Prathy, Sravan K. & Patra, Trilokyanath December 1, 2005.

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The U.S. mining industry operates approximately 80 semi-autogenesis grinding mills (SAG) throughout the United States. Depending on the mill size the SAG mills draws between 2 MW and 17 MW. The product from the SAG mill is further reduced in size using pebble crushers and ball mills. Hence, typical gold or copper ore requires between 2.0 and 7.5 kWh per ton of energy to reduce the particle size. Considering a typical mining operation processes 10,000 to 100,000 tons per day the energy expenditure in grinding is 50 percent of the cost of production of the metal. A research team from the University of Utah is working to make inroads into saving energy in these SAG mills. In 2003, Industries of the Future Program of the Department of Energy tasked the University of Utah team to build a partnership between the University and the mining industry for the specific purpose of reducing energy consumption in SAG mills. A partnership was formed with Cortez Gold Mines, Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation, Process Engineering Resources Inc. and others. In the current project, Cortez Gold Mines played a key role in facilitating the 26-ft SAG mill at Cortez as a test mill for this study. According to plant personnel, there were a number of unscheduled shut downs to repair broken liners and the mill throughput fluctuated depending on ore type. The University team had two softwares, Millsoft and FlowMod to tackle the problem. Millsoft is capable of simulating the motion of charge in the mill. FlowMod calculates the slurry flow through the grate and pulp lifters. Based on this data the two models were fine-tuned to fit the Cortez SAG will. In the summer of 2004 a new design of shell lifters were presented to Cortez and in September 2004 these lifters were installed in the SAG mill. By December 2004 Cortez Mines realized that the SAG mill is drawing approximately 236-kW less power than before while maintaining the same level of production. In the first month there was extreme cycling and operators had to learn more. Now the power consumption is 0.3-1.3 kWh/ton lower than before. The actual SAG mill power draw is 230-370 kW lower. Mill runs 1 rpm lesser in speed on the average. The re-circulation to the cone crusher is reduced by 1-10%, which means more efficient grinding of critical size material is taking place in the mill. All of the savings have resulted in reduction of operating cost be about $0.023-$0.048/ ton.

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  • Report No.: none
  • Grant Number: FC26-03NT41786
  • DOI: 10.2172/861643 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 861643
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc793460

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 1, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 8:47 p.m.

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Rajamani, Raj K.; Latchireddi, Sanjeeva; Prathy, Sravan K. & Patra, Trilokyanath. IMPROVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY VIA OPTIMIZED CHARGE MOTION AND SLURRY FLOW IN PLANT SCALE SAG MILLS, report, December 1, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc793460/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.