Grinding Circuit

Optimal particle size and extended liner life

Grinding Circuit Optimization Application

Our Grinding Optimisation Application guides metallurgists, operators and lower level control systems on how to operate the grinding circuit to achieve optimal performance.

The Problems Faced by Grinding Circuits

Grinding circuits reduce ore to sub-millimetre sizes – an extremely energy intensive process in which the majority of a plant’s energy costs are to be found. Additionally, grinding circuits are asset-intensive, and the high impact, abrasive environment significantly impacts maintenance costs and mill stoppages.

Achieving optimal performance is a constant challenge, as there is a lack of transparency on what is happening inside the mills and variable feed conditions.

Further challenges include:

  • Lack of insight into ball charge levels, which requires frequent mill stoppages for investigation, repairs or maintenance
  • Limited visibility of the state of mill liners, leading to frequent inspections
  • Variances in mill feed properties causing unexpected overloads, stoppages, repairs and maintenance
  • Limited data on the composition of the mill content, making it challenging to feed the mill for optimal throughput and efficiency
Grinding circuit in action

The BASF Solution

The BASF Intelligent Mine Grinding Optimization Application, powered by the platform, directly addresses these challenges:

Ball Charge Virtual Sensor: Shows the current ball charge in real-time, alerting operators when new balls need to be added

Liner Wear Virtual Sensor: Displays the current state of the mill liner, its wear rate and an estimate of the best time to replace each section

Overload Predictions: Predicts and alerts operators of potential mill overload events long before they happen allowing for corrective action

Mill Charge Virtual Sensors: Provides real-time values of key properties inside the mill (charge volume, slurry density, charge trajectory & particle size distribution)

Value Chain Optimisation from Mine to Market

Powered and connected together by the platform, the Grinding Optimization Application is one of a suite of real-time, Artificial Intelligence driven, decision-making applications to optimize each process from mine to market.

Optimizing your grinding circuit increases throughput and reduces energy consumption.

Grinding optimization app

The BASF Intelligent Mine Grinding Optimization Application has been developed and refined across multiple projects and customer sites, resulting in an ‘out-of-the-box’ product that can be rapidly deployed and customized to deliver value within weeks.

The Value Gained from Optimization

The BASF Intelligent Mine Grinding Optimisation Application:

  • Increases throughput by preventing costly mill stoppages to check ball charge levels
  • Improves grind performance by consistently maintaining the optimal ball charge
  • Decreases unplanned liner replacements and unnecessary stoppages, repairs and maintenance checks
  • Achieves more stable Grinding Circuit performance by eliminating mill overload events
  • Increases throughput and reduces energy cost by safely pushing the mill to its optimal operating point for the current feed conditions without causing unnecessary overloads
Flotation Application screenshot

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