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Evaluation of dry grinding using HPGR in closed

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Article in Minerals Engineering November 2014

DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2014.10.023


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Minerals Engineering 71 (2015) 133138

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Minerals Engineering
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/mineng

Evaluation of dry grinding using HPGR in closed circuit with an air

Alex Jankovic a, Steve Suthers b,, Thomas Wills a, Walter Valery a
Metso Process Technology and Innovation, PO Box 221, Kenmore, QLD 4069, Australia
CSIRO Mineral Resources Flagship, PO Box 883, Kenmore, QLD 4069, Australia

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Comparative dry grinding tests were conducted for two grinding owsheet options using commercial
Received 17 June 2014 aggregate as feed material: Option A, using a high pressure grinding roll (HPGR) in closed circuit with
Accepted 30 October 2014 air classication, and Option B, using HPGR in closed circuit with a 2.36 mm screen, followed by a
Available online 27 November 2014
locked-cycle Bond test. Bond tests were also carried out on standard crushed feed passing 3.35 mm
and 2.36 mm for comparison. The feed for the tests was screened and crushed to pass 10 mm. The air
Keywords: classier produced a ne product with an 80% passing size (P80) of around 50 lm. In order to maintain
comparability, the Bond tests were carried out using a 75 lm closing screen, producing a nal product
Air classication
Energy efciency
with a P80 of 57 lm. In all tests, the power consumption of the HPGR, Bond mill and air classier were
Ball mill recorded directly using a power meter, while the Bond mill power consumption was also calculated using
Bonds third law and other published methods.
Testing determined that the specic energy consumption of the Option B circuit was 41.9% greater than
Option A when evaluated using power logging, or 26.2% greater when calculated using Bonds law. Option
A required 20.829.5% less energy per tonne of ore processed than Option B, a conservative estimate due
to the ner grind size achieved. Further Bond tests showed that the work indices of standard crushed
3.35 mm and 2.36 mm feed were similar (15.0 and 15.3 kW h/t, respectively), while the HPGR crushed
2.36 mm feed produced a lower work index of 14.0 kW h/t. These results agree with observations by
other workers that HPGR renders a sample more amenable to comminution, most likely due to the intro-
duction of micro-cracks.
Crown Copyright 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction shortages in countries such as Africa and Chile, the mining industry
is now considering dry grinding options more readily.
Traditionally, the majority of mineral processing operations Dry grinding has been utilised in the cement industry for many
conduct ore handling and comminution steps by a combination years for comminution of limestone, slag and clinker, rstly
of dry crushing moist ore, followed by further wet grinding and through ball and rod mills, and in recent decades using high pres-
classication stages to reach a target grind size. In the current min- sure grinding rolls (HPGR). Circuits closed with air classication
ing climate however, with the rising number of operations in areas have enabled the use of HPGR in the cement industry for reliable
with poor power handling or capacity and water scarcity, such as pre-mill grind or nal product grind, reducing power and steel
in North Western Australia, the Andes and the Sahara Desert, usage cost, and increasing capacity, while operating to make high
exploration and consideration of dry grinding is growing. With quality product as ne as 25 lm (Van der Meer et al., 2012;
issues such as climate change, green house gas emissions and car- Aydogan et al., 2006).
bon footprint gaining priority status in public, coupled with rising The current HPGR comprises two motor driven counter rotat-
electricity costs in response to high fuel prices and electric power ing rolls, one xed, and one acting against hydraulic cylinders
connected to pressurised nitrogen accumulators. Rock is choke-
fed to the roll gap, with nip and pre-breakage occurring for par-
Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 (07)33274565. ticles larger than the gap by single particle comminution, and
E-mail addresses: alex.jankovic@metso.com (A. Jankovic), steve.suthers@csiro.au
smaller particles forming a compressed bed between the rolls
(S. Suthers), thomas.wills@metso.com (T. Wills), walter.valery@metso.com enabling more efcient bed breakage mechanics (Hilden and
(W. Valery). Suthers, 2010).

0892-6875/Crown Copyright 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
134 A. Jankovic et al. / Minerals Engineering 71 (2015) 133138

Since the introduction of HPGR to the cement industry in 1985, both products were collected and weighed. The oversize was
studies and applications of HPGR to hard rock operations have stage-crushed using a laboratory jaw crusher to pass 10 mm. The
become increasingly common. Several notable hard rock installa- resulting 10 mm sample was homogenised and split into 32 por-
tions include Cerro Verde McMoRan CopperMolybdenum in Peru, tions of 15 kg using a 16-bin rotary splitter. A representative sub-
Mogalakwena Anglo American Platinum in South Africa, Bodding- split was taken for size analysis using a 12-bin rotary splitter, and a
ton Newmont CopperGold in Australia, Grasberg McMoRan Cop- further sub-split was taken using an eight-jar rotary splitter to
perGold in Indonesia, CVRD Iron Ore in Brazil, Kudremukh Iron achieve a 500 g sample for size analysis. The P80 of the 10 mm
Ore in India, El Brocal LeadZinc and Copper in Peru, CAP Minera aggregate feed was 7.4 mm. The feed for the Bond tests was pre-
Iron Ore in Chile, and SNIM Iron Ore in Mauritania (Hilden and pared by stage crushing 30 kg of the 10 mm sample to pass
Suthers, 2010; International Mining, 2012; Weir Minerals, 2011). 3.35 mm. Half of the 3.35 mm material was split out and retained
One of the main benets of HPGR use is comminution energy ef- for the 3.35 mm Bond tests, while the other half was screened at
ciency, with researchers reporting energy savings of about 1050% 2.36 mm to produce the sample for the 2.36 mm Bond tests.
compared to grinding by conventional ball and rod milling or semi-
autogenous grinding with ball milling (Daniel, 2007; Rosario and 2.2. Air classier setup
Hall, 2008; Hilden and Suthers, 2010). The reported energy savings
depend on the circuit arrangements, whether the grinding is being A KHD rotating wheel air classier was utilised in this test work,
carried out wet or dry, the hardness of the ore, the amount of addi- comprising a feeder hopper and motor, product storage and dust
tional material handling operations and the methods used to cyclone as shown in Fig. 1. Energy consumption during testing
dene the energy savings. Other benets include reduced water was logged using a NanoVip Plus digital clamp-on power meter,
and grinding media use, further reducing operational costs connected via a serial interface to a PC running the associated log-
(Hilden and Suthers, 2010). ging software. The no-load consumption was determined from the
In dry grinding applications, closed circuit HPGR utilises screens average instantaneous power draw of the fan motor prior to and
or air classication for dry classication and recirculation. While after sample feeding. The classication power draw (or load power
dry screens are only applicable for coarse product sizes due to draw) is the power draw during feeding, and the net power draw is
the issue of agglomeration, air classication may be applied for the difference between load and no-load draw.
P80 sizes between 25 and 1500 lm. Companies such as KHD, who
deal in dry separation equipment, have produced several commer- 2.3. HPGR tests
cially used air-based classication systems including the V separa-
tor and SKS dynamic cage wheel separator. Van der Meer et al. Grinding tests were carried out using a fully instrumented
(2012) reported feasibility testing for dry grinding with HPGR of Krupp Polysius HPGR unit as shown in Fig. 2. The specications
a North American magnetite ore, as an alternative to tertiary crush- of the unit are provided in Table 1. Power consumption, working
ing and ball milling for size reduction from 50 mm to 90 lm. They pressure and operating gap were logged by a computer with Lab-
reported that a wet process would require downstream sedimenta- view software, and a standard peripheral roll speed of 0.38 m/s
tion, thickening and ltration stages and would be too capital was used in all tests. The oil pressure was set at 4.5 Mpa and the
intensive, while a dry ball mill would present high operation costs. gas pressure was set at 1.5 MPa to give an oil and gas pressure ratio
Comparative grinding tests of two-stage closed HPGR with 7 mm of 3:1, while a nominal roll gap of 1.6 mm was used, which
and 1 mm screens and a nal mill grind, and two-stage closed achieved the desired specic press force of about 45 N/mm2. Size
HPGR with a 7 mm screen and an air classier cutting for nal
product, showed a 46% energy reduction for the latter HPGR-only
circuit (Van der Meer et al., 2012).
Two HPGR owsheet options were tested in the present study
using commercial aggregate material, screened and crushed to
pass 10 mm, as the feed. Option A comprised a HPGR closed with
an air classier generating nal product directly from 10 mm
feed, while Option B comprised the same HPGR closed with a
2.36 mm screen, producing feed for a Bond mill test closed with
a 75 lm screen to generate the nal product. The power consump-
tions of the HPGR, Bond mill and air classier were directly mea-
sured and recorded via inline power meters, while the power
consumption of the Bond mill and a scaled-up mill were also calcu-
lated using various methods for comparison. Additional Bond
index tests have been conducted on standard 3.35 mm Bond test
feed, 2.36 mm crushed feed, and HPGR crushed 2.36 mm feed to
aid in energy comparison analysis.

2. Materials and methods

Experimental procedures include feed preparation, calibration

tests for HPGR and air classier equipment, and comparative grind-
ing tests.

2.1. Feed preparation

The 500 kg of dry aggregate sample received was pre-screened

using a Russel vibrating sieve with a 10 mm aperture size, and Fig. 1. KHD rotating wheel air classier. Photo: CSIRO.
A. Jankovic et al. / Minerals Engineering 71 (2015) 133138 135

the next cycle was produced by adding fresh feed equivalent to

the amount of removed screen undersize to the screen oversize,
followed by homogenising by three passes through a 12-bin rotary
splitter. Six locked cycles were performed, with all 2.36 mm
products combined, homogenised and split to produce a 10 kg
sample of 2.36 mm for Bond testing and size analysis.

2.6. Ball mill grindability tests

Bond ball mill locked cycle tests were carried out at a closing
screen size of 75 lm using a standard (305 mm diameter) labora-
tory-scale Bond mill with a standard Bond ball charge. Mill energy
consumption was logged to computer using the NanoVip clamp-on
power meter described earlier. No-load power draw was determined
by running the mill empty for 1 h while logging and then averaging
Fig. 2. Krupp Polysius 250  100 mm roll HPGR. Photo: CSIRO. the instantaneous power recorded in the 5 min prior to the test. The
power draw of the loaded mill was determined by averaging the
power draw recorded during testing, with the net power draw being
Table 1 the difference between the load and no-load power draw.
Laboratory HPGR specications.
The mill energy input per revolution was calculated from Eq.
Item Description (1):
Manufacturer Krupp Polysius Enet  t
Year of manufacture 1991 ER 1
Roll diameter 250 mm R
Roll width 100 mm where ER is the mill energy input per rev (J/rev), Enet is the net
No. of hydraulic rams 4
Hydraulic ram diameter 63.0 mm
power draw (W), t is the grinding time (s), and R is the number of
Machine constant, k 1.263 mill revolutions.
Rolls surface Tungsten carbide studded According to Daniel (2007), the energy input of a standard Bond
Drive motors 2  30 kW mill is about 93 J/rev and the specic grinding energy for the labo-
Maximum gap 12 mm
ratory-scale mill can be calculated using Eq. (2):
Peripheral roll speed 0.38 m/s nominal, variable up to 3.6 m/s
Throughput About 3 t/h nominal, up to 8 t/h at max speed ER 25:83
W lab 2
3:6Gp Gp
analysis was carried out on all feed and product samples by
splitting to 300 g and wet screening over a 38 lm screen, with where Wlab is the specic grinding energy of the laboratory-scale
the oversize being dry screened using a standard screen series from mill (kW h/t) and Gp is the amount of total product produced per
9500 lm to 38 lm. mill revolution (g/rev).
The specic grinding energy of a 2.44 m interior diameter wet
2.4. Option A HPGR in closed circuit with air classier overow ball mill is usually calculated using the Bond work index
and Bonds third law equation (Bond, 1961):
For each grinding cycle, 20 kg of sample was passed through the
W 10W i P0:5 0:5
80  F 80 3
HPGR followed by air classication. Fresh feed equivalent to the
quantity of removed ne product was added to the coarse product where F80 is the 80% passing size of the feed (lm), P80 is the 80%
of the air classier, homogenised by three passes through a 12-bin passing size of the product (lm), W is the specic grinding energy
rotary splitter, and utilised as feed for the next cycle. Six locked (kW h/t), and Wi is the Bond work index (kW h/t).
cycles were completed at the determined press force, with feed Comparable results to Eq. (3) can be obtained directly from the
and product samples taken for size analysis. Bond test if a value of 60 J/rev is used for the Bond mill energy
input per revolution (Daniel, 2007):
2.5. Option B HPGR in closed circuit with 2.36 mm screen plus ball
ER 16:67
milling W 4
3:6G G
For each grinding cycle, 30 kg of sample was passed through the where W is the specic grinding energy (kW h/t) and G is the Bond
HPGR followed by dry screening over a 2.36 mm screen. Feed for test grindability index (g/rev).

Table 2
Option A grinding cycle results (feed P80 = 7395 lm; nal product P80 = 50 lm).

Parameter Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6

Specic press force (N/mm2) 4.9 4.9 3.9 3.6 3.6 3.5
Circulating loada (%) 325 551 746 735 733 683
Circulation ratiob (%) 0 381 609 635 632 589
[HPGR] net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 6.3 8.6 9.1 7.9 7.9 7.5
[Air classier] net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 4.3 7.5 5.9 6.8 6.2 n/a
[HPGR] average net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 7.9 1.0
[Air classier] average net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 6.1 1.2
Overall net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 14.0 2.2
Circulating load = (fresh feed + recycle)/product.
Circulation ratio = recycle/product.
136 A. Jankovic et al. / Minerals Engineering 71 (2015) 133138

100 100

90 90
Recovery to underflow (wt.%)

Cumulative wt.% passing

80 80

70 70
0 10 100 1000 10000
10 100 1000 10000 Particle size (m)
Particle size (m) Feed Option A product Option B product

Fig. 3. Air classier partition/efciency curve from the Option A test. Fig. 5. Option A and B nal product and fresh feed comparative particle size

nes to the coarse fraction. The imperfection I, i.e. separation ef-
90 ciency of the air classier, was calculated to be 0.29 using Eq. (5):
Cumulative wt.% passing

70 d75  d25
I 5
60 2d50
where d25, d50 and d75 are the particle sizes that have a 25%, 50% and
40 75% chance of reporting to the undersize fraction, respectively. In
30 the Option A test, the values of d25, d50 and d75 were determined
20 to be 34 lm, 49 lm and 62 lm, respectively. For comparison, the
10 imperfection of hydrocyclones ranges from about 0.2 to 0.6 with
0 an average of about 0.3 (Gupta and Yan, 2006), so the separation
10 100 1000 10000 efciency of the air classier in the Option A test was similar to that
Particle size (m) of an average hydrocyclone.
Actual Feed Calculated feed The air classier feed distribution (actual and calculated) is
Fig. 4. Air classier feed distribution (actual and calculated) from the Option A test.
shown in Fig. 4. There is a difference between the actual and calcu-
lated feed size distributions, most likely due to some mechanical
attrition by the air classier rotor a known effect of centrifugal
fan air classiers (Ito et al., 1993).
3. Results and discussion

3.1. Option A HPGR in closed circuit with air classier 3.2. Option B HPGR in closed circuit with 2.36 mm screen plus ball
The results of the Option A test (locked cycle HPGR closed with
air classier) are summarised in Table 2. The air classier power The results of the Option B test (locked cycle HPGR closed with
consumption was not recorded in the nal cycle due to equipment a 2.36 mm screen and Bond test closed with a 75 lm screen) are
issues. The average net specic energy consumption was summarised in Table 3. The average net specic energy consump-
6.1 1.2 kW h/t for the air classier, 7.9 1.0 kW h/t for the HPGR, tion for the circuit was 2.8 0.4 kW h/t for the HPGR,
and 14.0 2.2 kW h/t overall. The circulating load of the last two 17.1 1.8 kW h/t for the ball mill, and 19.9 2.3 kW h/t overall.
cycles was approximately 700% and produced a product with a The circulating load for the last two HPGR cycles was approxi-
P80 of 50 lm. Approximately 5% ake was generated by the HPGR; mately 150%. Approximately 5% ake was generated by the HPGR,
however, it was of low competency, decomposing when fed to but it was of low competency and decomposed when fed to classi-
classication. cation. The nal product from the Bond test had a P80 of 57 lm.
The air classier partition curve for the Option A test is shown Comparative particle size distributions for Option A and B products
in Fig. 3. The partition curve has not been corrected for bypass of and fresh feed are shown in Fig. 5.

Table 3
Option B grinding cycle results (feed P80 = 7395 lm; nal product P80 = 57 lm).

Parameter Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6

Specic press force (Nmm2) 5.7 4.6 4.4 5.4 3.9 3.5
[HPGR + 2.36 mm screen] circulating loada(%) 140 142 144 138 149 152
[HPGR + 2.36 mm screen] circulation ratiob (%) 0 40 42 42 42 49
[HPGR] net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 3.3 2.6 2.8 3.2 2.4 2.2
[Bond test] net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 14.6 18.6 16.2 15.6 17.9 17.1
[HPGR] average net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 2.8 0.4
[Bond test] average net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 17.1 1.8
Overall net specic energy wrt nal product (kW h/t) 19.9 2.3
Circulating load = (fresh feed + recycle)/product.
Circulation ratio = recycle/product.
A. Jankovic et al. / Minerals Engineering 71 (2015) 133138 137

100 results for each test are shown in Table 4. The specic energy input
90 values shown in Table 4 were determined using four different
Cumulative wt.% passing

80 methods, namely, direct power logging, Eq. (2) (assuming

70 93 J/rev as the energy input for the standard Bond mill), Eq. (3)
60 (Bonds third law) and Eq. (4) (assuming 60 J/rev as the energy
50 input for the standard Bond mill).
40 It can be seen in Table 4 that the specic energy inputs calcu-
30 lated by assuming 93 J/rev are very close to those determined by
20 direct power logging, while the specic energy inputs calculated
10 by assuming 60 J/rev are reasonably close to, albeit a little lower
than, those determined using Bonds third law. As noted earlier,
10 100 1000 10000 direct power logging measures the power input of the labora-
Particle size (m) tory-scale Bond ball mill, while Bonds third law actually up-scales
-3.35 mm feed -2.36 mm feed Option B feed the result to that of a 2.44 m industrial wet ball mill. Thus, the
-3.35 mm product -2.36 mm product Option B product operating work indices reported in Table 4 are larger than
the actual Bond work indices, as they represent the laboratory-
Fig. 6. Bond test comparative feed and product particle size distributions.
scale Bond mill.
The results in Table 4 also show that the 2.36 mm Option B
Fig. 5 shows that the air classied ne product from Option A HPGR product had the lowest Bond work index (14.0 kW h/t) and
exhibits a very wide size distribution, that is, it contains an unex- subsequently required less power input than the jaw crushed
pectedly large portion of coarse particles (2.5% of 0.33.0 mm). 2.36 mm feed, which had a Bond work index of 15.3 kW h/t. Note
Considering the P80 of the ne product is approximately 50 lm, in Fig. 6 that the size distributions of the Option B Bond test and
the presence of coarse particles is of concern and an indication of 2.36 mm jaw crushed feeds were almost identical, so the differ-
coarse bypass to nes, which may create potential downstream ence in Bond work index can be attributed to micro-cracking rather
processing problems. Further investigation is required to conrm than to differences in the feed size distributions. This result agrees
if this result is common for all similar air classiers or only for with observations by Daniel (2007) that HPGR renders a sample
the particular unit and operating conditions tested. more amenable to comminution by introducing micro-cracks.
The work index for the standard 3.35 mm material (15.0 kW h/
t) was similar to that of the jaw-crushed 2.36 mm material, but
3.3. Ball mill grindability tests the Bond test required a higher power input due to experiencing
a larger size reduction ratio in the test.
In addition to the Bond test described for Option B above, which
used 2.36 mm HPGR-crushed feed, Bond tests were also com-
pleted using 3.35 mm standard Bond test feed and 2.36 mm 4. Conclusions
jaw crushed feed, all closed at 75 lm to produce a similar product
to that of Option A (P80 = 50 lm) for comparison. The feed and The aim of this work was to investigate the comparative energy
product size distributions for each Bond test are shown in Fig. 6. use of HPGR with air classication and HPGR with screening and
It should be noted that the product P80 of these tests (57 lm) is lar- subsequent ball milling to produce a relatively ne product from
ger than, but similar to, that of Option A (50 lm). Comparative a 10 mm top size feed aggregate material. The overall circuit
Bond work index, operating work index and specic energy input energy consumptions are summarised in Table 5. From this table,

Table 4
Bond test energy input comparison results.

Parameter Sample
Feed 3.35 mm Feed 2.36 mm Option B 2.36 mm
Feed P80 (lm) 2134 1492 1444
Product P80 (lm) 58 58 57
Grindability (g/rev) 1.12 1.16 1.27
Bond work index (kW h/t) 15.0 15.3 14.0
Operating work index (kW h/t) 17.5 17.2 16.1
Specic energy input: power logging (kW h/t) 19.3 4.3 18.2 5.7 17.1 1.8
Specic energy input: @93 J/rev (kW h/t) 19.3 18.1 16.5
Specic energy input: Bonds third law (kW h/t) 16.5 16.1 14.9
Specic energy input: @60 J/rev (kW h/t) 14.9 14.4 13.1

Table 5
Overall circuit option specic energy input comparison results.

Stage Option A Option B Option B Units Method

HPGR from 10 mm to 50 lm 7.9 kW h/t Direct power logging
Air classier 6.1 kW h/t Direct power logging
HPGR from 10 mm to 2.36 mm 2.8 2.8 kW h/t Direct power logging
Ball mill from 2.36 mm to 57 lm 17.1 kW h/t Direct power logging
Ball mill from 2.36 mm to 57 lm 14.9 kW h/t Bonds third law
OVERALL 14.0 19.9 17.7 kW h/t
138 A. Jankovic et al. / Minerals Engineering 71 (2015) 133138

it can be seen that the specic energy input of the Option A circuit with air classication. The circulating load in the HPGR would be
(HPGR with air classication) was 14.0 kW h/t using direct power expected to be lower if the cut size of the air classier was coarser,
logging, while it was 19.9 kW h/t for the Option B circuit (HPGR but ball milling might be more energy efcient at coarser grind
with screening and ball milling) using direct power logging. That sizes. It would therefore be of interest in future work to evaluate
is, the Option A circuit consumed 29.5% less energy per tonne of HPGR with air classication against ball milling and screening for
ore processed than the Option B circuit when compared at labora- coarser grind sizes in the range of about 150300 lm.
tory-scale. Alternatively, the specic energy input of the Option B
circuit was 17.7 kW h/t when the ball mill specic grinding energy Acknowledgements
was calculated using Bonds third law. That is, the Option A circuit
consumes 20.8% less energy per tonne of ore processed than the This work was supported by Metso Process Technology and
Option B circuit when the ball mill in the latter circuit is scaled Innovation in collaboration with the CSIRO Minerals Down Under
up to a 2.44 m industrial wet mill. This second comparison, how- agship. The authors thank Venkata Nunna (CSIRO) for his valuable
ever, does not take into account any potential efciency increase assistance, Tirsha Raynlyn (CSIRO), Tugs Tsedenbaljie (Metso) and
with up-scale of HPGR and air classier equipment. The calculated Jeff Douglas (CSIRO) for assistance with the experimental work,
energy savings of Option A are considered conservative because and Ralph Holmes and Warren Bruckard (CSIRO) for proof reading
the P80 of the product was 50 lm while that of Option B was of the draft manuscript.
57 lm. On the other hand, this study has not taken into account
the power consumption of ancillary material handling equipment References
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