Following the successful completion of a marked ball test defining the potential wear benefits the high chrome alloys may offer against forged steel, as well as laboratory test work investigating changes in pulp chemistry and improvements to metallurgical performance, a plant trial was commissioned at Newcrest’s Ridgeway concentrator. The paper briefly describes these results.
Newcrest decided to convert their media charge by the top-up method. To monitor the trial a sampling protocol was put in place whereby the pulp chemistry was monitored before, during and after the purge. The metallurgical shift data was analysed using various statistical methods to determine if the metallurgical performance had improved with the change in grinding media. While the analysis indicated that the metallurgy had improved, not all of the benefits could be assigned to the change in grinding media alone. However, the combination of reduction in media wear and the increases in copper and gold recoveries suggested that it was economically viable to operate with high chrome grinding media.
As with many trials of this nature the prevailing economic conditions are fluid and a decision was made to revert back to forged steel grinding media in an effort to reduce operating costs. It was further agreed that Magotteaux could monitor the pulp chemistry and metallurgical changes in this reverse trial to confirm the results observed in the earlier conversion to high chrome grinding media.
Greet, C J, Hitchen, C and Kinal, J, 2012.
Conducting high chrome grinding media trials at Newcrest’s Ridgeway
Concentrator, in Proceedings 11th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, pp 56-64 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).