The crushing and mining industry is an energy-intensive one and maintaining the energy efficiency is important for all of us to meet the rising demands.
Check these figures
Comminution uses at least 3% of the total global electricity production.
On an average, it accounts for more than 50% of a mine’s energy consumption and 10% of the total production costs.
*This is according to the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution.
Focus on the circuit
The comminution processes must meet the set objectives while also consuming as little energy as possible. The comminution circuit design must focus more on energy efficiency and this can make the difference between profit and loss.
Ore characterization should work on both composite and variability samples and this is key in determining the right comminution circuit design, which in turn would lead to energy efficient crushing.
There are other factors too that should be monitored for energy efficiency, which are
- 1. Overall plant requirements
- 2. Ore types to be processed
- 3. Location
- 4. The environmental considerations
- 5. Size of the operation.
Plant owners would agree that choosing the bigger equipment is not always an efficient choice, especially if the focus is on energy.
Blasting, apart from being the most cost-efficient means for ore size reduction, is also a great way to save energy. It reduces the feed size before primary crushing, increases circuit throughput and reduces the energy required for downstream comminution.
Blasting can be done using chemical energy which is cheaper in comparison to the electrical energy. Blasting before crushing will also reduce the electrical energy required to complete the size reduction process.
Remember: Though blasting makes the job of the primary crusher easier, the feed has to go through subsequent crushing stages to ensure that it is processed to capacity.
- Waste rocks must be rejected in the early stages and this would reduce the comminution cost.
- We must keep a track of how much valuable material is rejected, along with the waste.
- Proper pre-concentration would increase recovery and metal production, while lessening the power consumption.
Two steps of pre-concentration
- Detecting the low grade particles
- Removing them
Better wear life, more energy efficient
The comminution process produces three things
- 1. Size reduction
- 2. Heat
- 3. Wear
It has been tried and tested that increase in grinding efficiency can lead to lesser heat generation and wear.
It is important for the plant operators to ensure that the energy given as input should be used only for producing what we want rather than generating undesirable heat and causing wear.